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Monday, July 26, 2010

'Israeli Arab' MK threatens new 'intifada'

'Israeli Arab' MK Hanan Zouabi, who recently had many of her Knesset privileges lifted for being aboard the Mavi Marmara when passengers attacked IDF troops, has told Britain's al-Guardian that Israel is 'playing with fire' and risking a third 'intifada.'
Israel could ignite a third intifada if it continues to push its 1.2 million Arab citizens into a corner, claims Haneen Zoabi, the Arab member of the Knesset vilified for joining the Gaza aid flotilla.

Zoabi, who was branded a traitor for her participation in the Gaza convoy, warned that Israel was playing with fire. "We accepted a democratic, liberal state, we voted for the Knesset. But we are not just an internal issue – we are the litmus test of the whole problem. If Israel does not recognise this, conditions will deteriorate towards a third intifada."

But she rejected any suggestion that Israel's Arab citizens supported violence.

Zoabi rounded on a Hamas leader for suggesting her community could be used during civil unrest as a fifth column, conducting sabotage against the Israeli state. Mohammed Arman, a senior Hamas commander, had said, in a book smuggled out of his Israeli jail, that the role of Palestinian citizens of Israel would be to "harass the occupiers, disrupt their daily routine and undermine their confidence".

Zoabi said: "We don't accept that. I don't even like the word violent. Israel wants us to break the law and we won't. I did not break any laws by being on the Mavi Marmara" – the Turkish ship which was seized by Israeli forces as it attempted to break the siege of Gaza.
The problem is that 'Israeli Arabs are schizophrenic (as you can see from her comments above and from more I will post below). On the one hand, their leadership regards itself as 'Palestinian,' although many of the non-elites do not regard themselves as 'Palestinian.' On the other hand, almost no 'Israeli Arabs' wish to live under a 'Palestinian' government - nearly all of them want to live under Israeli rule.

There is discrimination against them in some spheres (notably hiring for professionals), but given the reality of their declaring themselves 'Palestinian,' that's probably not too surprising. Here's more of Zoabi:
Zoabi said that under this pressure her community, which makes up a fifth of Israel's population, was changing from one that saw itself as fighting for its civil rights to one that was part and parcel of the Palestinian struggle. "It took us 40 years for us to admit that we were even Palestinians. Another 15 years passed before we realised that the peace process started under Oslo had been a disaster. The Zionist project was to domesticate its Arab citizens as the hewers and drawers of water. But the carrot-and-stick approach failed, and now we see Israel is prepared to throw away its liberal side to control us. We were passive once and now we are becoming active about our national identity," Zoabi said.

In 1999 more than 90% of her community voted for the Israeli Labour party leader, Ehud Barak, who was to start talks with Yasser Arafat on a two-state plan.

Zoabi cites polls that say 89% would vote for a state "for all", the formula used by Balad for a bi-national secular state. Her party still officially favours a two-state plan. But Zoabi has expressed doubt that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, could negotiate any state from Israel "bigger than a local authority". She said: "We did not immigrate to Israel. Israel immigrated to us. We are the indigenous people of a land from which we are being gradually expelled."
In 1999, the Prime Minister was directly elected. They definitely did not vote for the Labor party by then, although in the State's early years they did.

In fact, one of the biggest mysteries in Israeli politics is why 'Israeli Arabs' consistently vote for parties that have no interest in advancing 'Israeli Arab' (I put the terms in scare quotes because the leadership insists on identifying as 'Palestinian') interests but only wish to advocate for the 'Palestinians.' I discussed that issue here.


At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what she did wasnt illegal?

israel has a blockade in place against gaza as they are in an active war with hamas

assisting in breaking that blockade is giving aid and comfort to the enemy....which would be against her oath of office

she is lucky she resides in israel

were she a congress person in the states...she would have been arrested, impeached, tried, convicted and hung for treason

kahane was right....they shoulda loaded up the buses back in the 70s before it was too late

At 2:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The real problem is Israel's Arabs don't identify with the state. And they have not been assimilated into Israel and are literally a society apart both in values and outlook from those of the Jews. If anything, former Israeli Defense Moshe Arens' talk of integrating them into Israeli life looks overly ambitious. For obvious reasons, most Israeli Jews want fewer, not more Arabs in the country and Hanan Zouabi has only reinforced their view that there will be no meeting of the minds between the two communities in the foreseeable future.


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