Zionists from country’s minority communities speak out for Israel

Zionist Conference for Human Rights was held in front of a packed room at the Zionist Organization of America House in Tel Aviv.

December 18, 2013 01:35
2 minute read.
Father Nadaf and other speakers at Zionist Conference for Human Rights

Zionist Conference for Human Rights 370. (photo credit: Kobi Doverz)

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.

The conference titled Zionist Conference for Human Rights, was held in front of a packed room at the Zionist Organization of America House in Tel Aviv.

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Individuals 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 rights.”

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, he said.

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.

He 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 army.

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.

She 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 rights.”

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