Joint Arab List spokesman: ISIS learned its crimes from Zionism

Joint List spokesman compares ISIS to Zionism; Zionist Union candidate boycotts panel due to participation of Kahanist Knesset candidate Baruch Marzel.

March 10, 2015 19:35
3 minute read.

ISIS Warns of new Attacks . (photo credit: ARAB SOCIAL MEDIA)


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The head of the Joint List campaign team compared Israeli actions in the War of Independence to those of the brutal Islamist militia Islamic State, generating furious denunciations from right-wing parties.

And the refusal of a senior Zionist Union candidate to sit on a debate panel with the ultra-nationalist Knesset candidate Baruch Marzel further stoked the ire of the right wing.

In response to a question from the audience during an election panel discussion on security and diplomatic issues at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan on Tuesday, the head of the Joint (Arab) List campaign team Raja Zaetrah said that Hamas was not a terrorist group and drew his parallel between Israel and Islamic State.

“Where did ISIS learn these crimes? Look at what the Zionist movement did in 1948, the rape, the looting, the murder, the massacre, that was carried out in these areas in this region.”

Zaetrah’s comments aroused fury among right-wing parties, and denunciation across the political spectrum.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said that Zaetrah’s remarks were proof that the High Court of Justice made a mistake in not banning MK Haneen Zoabi from running for the next Knesset.

“High Court judges authorized the horrible things that Zoabi did and said in recent years, leading Zaetrah to allow himself to say things that in any other country would have his citizenship taken away and he would be deported,” he said.

Liberman vowed that in the next Knesset, Yisrael Beytenu will make sure that the court cannot cancel Knesset and Central Elections Committee decisions. Last month, the committee voted to disqualify Zoabi from running, but the High Court overturned the decision.

The Yahad party said that the “true face of the Joint List has been exposed in full,” saying that all its members “agree either openly or secretly with Zoabi who opposes the existence of the State of Israel,” and called on the attorney-general to investigate Zaetrah’s comments.

The Joint List said in response that Zaetrah was responding to “a provocation from one of the participants in the panel, who claimed the ISIS learned its actions from a member of the Joint List.

“The Joint List released an official, determined stance against ISIS’s crimes and condemns them without any connection to other historic events,” the list added.

Amos Yadlin, the Zionist Union’s candidate for defense minister and former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, refused to participate in the debate due to the presence of Baruch Marzel, who used to belong to the far-right Kach party of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Marzel is a member of the Otzma Yehudit ultra-nationalist party which is running with the new Yahad haredi- national religious hybrid party and is its fourth-placed candidate.

According to Yadlin’s office, the Knesset candidate and former major-general had agreed to take part in the discussion, but when he became aware several days ago that Marzel would be in attendance, Yadlin informed the organizers that he would not participate if Marzel were involved, whom Yadlin accused of “preaching racism and incitement” and for being responsible for incitement.

“To Yadlin’s surprise, when he arrived at the panel it became clear that not only was Marzel present, but that he was also a member of the political panel, in contravention of the previous agreements.

Amos Yadlin relinquished his place on the important public platform since he does not intend to grant a kashrut certificate to Baruch Marzel and to the anti-democratic values he represents,” Yadlin’s office said.

Marzel accused Yadlin of hypocrisy, saying that Yadlin had no problem participating in a debate with “the haters of Israel like Ahmed Tibi or [Jamal] Zahalka [both MKs from the Joint List], but when he sees someone loyal to the Jewish people and its land, he folds.”

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