On the 22nd of July, a bill by Sharon Gal of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, nicknamed the Zoabi bill, failed to pass.
In short the bill’s aim was to bar people whose actions are against the State of Israel and whose statements are against the State of Israel from running in Knesset elections and to hold office in Israel’s government. The bill was specifically aimed at MK Haneen Zoabi; she is an MK of the Arab Joint List party that partook of the Turkish Flotilla that attempted to break the maritime blockade by Israel on Gaza. The Flotilla was made up of over a handful of ships. The particular ship Zoabi was on was named the Mavi Marmara, the only one which ignored the Israeli Navy hail to cease and to allow it to be boarded; that was the only ship that put up hostile resistance where soldiers of Shayetet 13, Israel’s highly trained naval special operators felt threatened.
It resulted in the death of 9 Turkish citizens.
I am not about to speculate if this was just or not or how highly trained special forces operators felt that they were endangered by citizens; the ICC which closed its investigations and then reopened them only to shut it down again.
Haneen Zoabi constantly has stated she is a proud Palestinian, though she does not hold a Palestinian ID card. She has constantly supported the Palestinian ‘resistance’ against the “Israeli occupation”. She is against the governing body of Israel, which she is a member of and who receives a generous salary from. Supposedly she lauded the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, who were then killed by their captors, which preceded yet did not officially instigate last year’s Operation Protective Edge, which was a lengthy battle between Israel and Hamas of Gaza. These are important matters that may or may not disqualify Zoabi for being a member of the Israeli Knesset. Technically, she is a member of an Arab party that is supposed to support Arab Israeli interests in Israel and therein lies the problem in my eyes.
MK Zoabi was invited by Students for Justice in Palestine as guest speaker in New York University, while I may or may not agree with much of what was said, I do have an issue with one particular point: she claims to be a Palestinian. Legally she is not a Palestinian. She holds no documentation to support her claim, as I stated earlier. Culturally, she believes that she is and that is her right.
Legally speaking, a member of the Israeli Knesset may not be a citizen of any other country. Former MK Dov Lipman and others have had to relinquish their foreign citizenship when they took office. Haneen Zoabi believes she is a Palestinian and not an Israeli. She fights for Palestinian rights and not Israeli rights.
One may point to the Haredi parties that make up the current government coalition. Not one Haredi official holds a ministerial position; rather they are deputies, in order not support the State. I have a problem with that too, but at least they fight for their constituents who are Israeli citizens even if they do not support the state. Haneen Zoabi claims not to be an Israeli, therefore I believe that she talks the talk but does not walk the walk. She should leave the political sphere and run in elections (six years overdue) in the Palestinian government. Until then she is the embodiment of hypocrisy and cannot be taken seriously or in any legal sense.