Balad MK Haneen Zoabi at the Knesset..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi rejected an invitation to take part in a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, claiming in a letter to the organizers that there is a similarity between Nazi Germany in the 1930s and Israeli policies today.
The Arab MK wrote a letter to the organizers of the main ceremony, to be held next month at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.
The letter was leaked to Israel Hayom and compared the suffering of the Palestinians to the Holocaust.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is one of the Israeli politicians scheduled to speak at the event and all MKs were invited to take part.
“You can’t teach the lessons of the Holocaust when you don’t distinguish between the terrifying similarity between what is happening today all around us and what happened in Germany in the 1930’s,” wrote Zoabi. “This is the danger: summary executions, detentions without trial, torture, gag orders, persecuting protesters and political activists.”
Zoabi also claimed that Israel’s teaching of the Holocaust is “selective and manipulative” in order “to increase the motivation to defend by humiliating and oppressing the other.”
Itamar Shveka, the manager of the ceremony, told Army Radio in response to Zoabi’s comments that “I can only be sorry about this letter. It is not a day that needs to radicalize the relationship with the Arabs.”
Contacted by The Jerusalem Post for a response to the letter’s publication, Zoabi’s office responded that it was displeased that the letter had been leaked to the press, as it was solely intended to be a private letter.
Zoabi’s office also responded to criticism that it compares Israel actions to the Holocaust, by clarifying that “the letter was carefully worded and did not compare Israel today to the Holocaust, but to the German regime prior to it in the 1930s.”