Zoabi relative drafting Arabs into Likud

Hassan Zoabi tells 'Post' he's MK's 4th cousin; says only the Likud really helps Arabs; Haneen Zoabi claims she has no idea who he is.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 24, 2011 18:19
2 minute read.
Balad MK Haneen Zuabi

Balad MK haneen zuabi 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski [file])

 
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Balad MK Haneen Zoabi is far from being a Zionist.

She frequently leads anti- Israel protests, she walked out when Hatikva was played at her swearing-in ceremony, she joined the Gaza flotilla and later accused the IDF soldiers who boarded it of deliberately trying to kill civilians.

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Zoabi has even expressed support for the nuclearization of Iran.

But the 41-year-old Nazareth-born lawmaker apparently doesn’t represent her entire family.

Hassan Zoabi, a Taibe construction worker who is the MK’s distant relative, caused a stir in the Zoabi family when he told Yediot Aharonot this week that he had joined the Likud Party. Zoabi accused her in the article of caring only about the Palestinians and not helping her Israeli Arab constituents.

“She and her party colleagues never deal with what matters to us,” Zoabi said.



“They are always dealing with the rights of the Palestinians, but what does that have to do with us? We need infrastructure, education, and our salaries to arrive on time. They don’t do anything, while the Likud is actually trying to help us.”

Haneen Zoabi, who did not speak to Yediot for the article, told The Jerusalem Post that she had no idea who Hassan Zoabi was and neither did anyone in her immediate family.

“Zoabi is a common Arabic name,” she said. “There are people named Cohen in Balad, you know, and I don’t think any of them are related to the Cohens in the Knesset.”

Hassan Zoabi told the Post that he was the MK’s fourth cousin. He claimed to know her personally and that she asked him to work for her in the last election, which he did before he decided to go in the opposite direction and join Likud.

“Arab MKs don’t do anything,” he said. “Only the Likud really helps the Arabs.”

Zoabi said he had personally registered 260 Arabs to Likud over the past several months, most of them Zoabis. He said he would soon host a rally to get more Arabs to join Likud with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara, and MK Danny Danon.

He said he was proud of the Zoabis who served in the Knesset in the past, Seif el-Din el-Zoabi and Abd el-Aziz el-Zoabi, but that he was embarrassed about Haneen’s anti-Israel behavior.

“Of course she would say that she doesn’t know me,” he said. “The family supported her, because it brought honor to the family to have an MK in the family. But she shamed us by going against the IDF and because she doesn’t help the public.”

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