Representatives from minority communities in Israel staunchly came out in
support of the country as a Jewish and democratic state Monday, at a human
rights event held by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu.
titled Zionist Conference for Human Rights, was held in front of a packed room
at the Zionist Organization of America House in Tel Aviv.
from the Muslim, Druse, Beduin, and Christian Arab communities spoke about
Israel’s role in defending human rights, in a mixed crowd that also included a
rabbi, a Kibbutznik and a homosexual.
“Human Rights are not a trademark
owned by the New Israel Fund and the enemies of Zionism,” said Ronen Shoval,
founder and chairman of Im Tirtzu.
“Anyone who wants human rights in the
Middle East has only one option – to connect to the Jewish state that preserves
human rights,” he said.
Shoval told The Jerusalem Post that the purpose
of the event was to draw attention to Israeli minorities that support the state
and “understand that only in a Jewish state will they have human
One objective of the conference is “to break the monopoly of
human rights” that the “extremist anti-Zionist forces” currently have on the
issue and to share the term, “human rights” with the entire political spectrum,
Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest who supports IDF
enlistment and the integration of Christians into Israeli society spoke at the
event, stating that as a priest that lives in the Middle East, “I understand
that human rights cannot be taken for granted.”
People that are
“slandering the state enjoy a high standard of living and are spitting into the
well from which they drink,” he said.
Earlier this month, Father Nadaf’s
son was attacked and ended up in the hospital, for what is alleged to be an
attack motivated by his views in support of Israel and army service.
told the Post earlier this month that he has been suffering from incitement for
a year and-a-half now, since he called in 2012 for Christians to enter the
Anet Haskia, an Arab-Israeli Muslim from Acre, declared, “I am a
proud Zionist,” and that she is against a Palestinian state and a division of
the country. “There are a lot like me,” she added and said her daughter is the
first Muslim to be enlisted in the Golani Infantry Brigade.
acknowledges that racism exists in Israel, but that “society will not change if
we do not integrate.”
“Arab MKs that are against the state are a tube of
hate which nourishes many citizens,” Haskia said. “[MK Ahmed] Tibi called me
delusional and others tried to silence me. They call us fascists, but they are
fascists with their opinions on the gay community in Arab society” and their
inaction on the issue of violence against Arab women.
Atta Farhat, the
head of the Druse Zionist Council for Israel, said, “Look at the countries
around us, they are in chaos. Only in Israel do minorities have human
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