Former Shas chairman and interior minister, Eli Ishai, ceded from his old party to form a new one – “Yachad” (together). In order to cross the new 3.25% threshold of votes that is needed to get in parliament, Ishai formed a united faction with Baruch Marzel’s party, “Jewish Power”. Marzel and his party are following the theories and doctrines of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was famously prohibited from running for the Knesset with his party Kach in 1988 for inciting racism. The elections committee had recently banned Marzel’s candidacy considering his criminal record as well as his political record – he attests that he had been the “right hand man” of Kahane. However, that decision was revoked by the Israeli Supreme Court. The candidacy of extremist Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi (the United Arab List) was also confirmed by the court.
In its public appearances and elections campaign, Yachad vows to erase the smile off Zoabi’s face. Will it really? Following repeated defeats, the Arabs understood all too well that they would not be able to beat the state of Israel in the battle field. Many years and several severe wars have passed and clarified to the leaders of the Arab world that they have no choice, but to come to terms with the impossibility of destroying Israel through a military campaign – even if that would be a particularly cruel and unexpected one, as Israel endured in the Atonement Day war.
However, along with that understanding, another insight trickled down to the Arab leadership, not less significant. Throughout the years the conclusion had been crystalizing that while Israel cannot be defeated militarily, the Jewish state can most definitely be hurt in the public relations scene, to the extent that its residents’ lives would become unbearable.
Following that conclusion, we hear more and more Arab speakers who conduct persistent advocacy for an overall boycott of the state of Israel, emphasizing an economic boycott. As detailed already in a report from 2010 by the Reut Institute, a web of well-funded organizations is persistently brainwashing world media in various channels, and presents Israel as a racist evil country with severe human rights violations. The goal is clear – turning Israel into a pariah state, which is politically and economically isolated from the rest of the world.
The model that guides the activists in that anti-Israel propaganda is the South African one. With great cynicism they use slogans such as “Israel is an apartheid state” or “the Israeli right is conspiring to ethnically cleanse Palestinians”, and with such deceitful slogans they turn to the world (including the Jewish diaspora), spreading the call to boycott Israel. Much like the case of South Africa, they hope that sooner or later the world will turn against Israel, and then – after boycotting it completely – it will become an economically failed state and a nightmare for all its citizens.
All of the above is known to many parts of the Israeli government and more than a few Jewish organizations. That is why we are witnessing certain actions, albeit not enough of them in my view, which are designed to strengthen Israel’s international standing. It is not a secret that in many cases this is an almost sisyphic task. The anti-Israel propagandists are eager to disseminate any piece of information, which could allow them to manipulate the media against Israel. Reality reflects their successes.
And here we arrive at Baruch Marzel and Hanin Zombi. Undoubtably, Zoabi despises the Jewish state, and we have seen that time and again. Nevertheless, what we also see about Zoabi, is her ongoing attempts to capture the attention of international media, in order to shame the state of Israel. She did so effectively in 2010 with the “Mavi Marmara” flotilla, which she took part in, and ever since then she has been trying to replicate that success.
These days offer Hanin Zoabi a new hope. This hope has a prospective title: Member of Knesset Baruch Marzel. Zoabi hopes that the voters of Eli Ishai (from ultra orthodox Jews who are angry at their sectorial parties to those Kach supporters who dream of concentration camps for Arabs) will help attain her goals.
Zoabi knows all too well that when it comes to provocations and scandals, one can certainly trust Marzel, and therefore she sees in him the man who would give her that “solid story” with which to run to the international community and condemn the state of Israel.
“A Jewish MK, defined as a Jewish fascist, spat at the representative of the Arab minority”, or “the representative of the party that glorifies the murderers of innocent Arabs, tossed a copy of the book of Quran in the face of a female Arab MK”, and so will other headlines in international media call out, to the pleasure of Israel’s enemies. Here it comes, another blow to the image of Israel and the Jewish people
In summary, Marzel will not erase Zoabi’s smile. On the contrary, he will only give her many more reasons to smile about. Only Marzel and his likes can provide MK Zombi the international attention she seeks.
The writer is an author and a social activist