'Terror-backing' Haifa deputy mayor replaced with another terror backer

Zaatry said he would not apologize for his past statements defending Hezbullah and comparing Zionism to Nazism and the IDF to Islamic State.

By
December 12, 2018 13:29
2 minute read.
Raja Za’atra in press conference, December 12, 2018.

Raja Za’atra in press conference, December 12, 2018.. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

After a week-long scandal over his anti-Israel posts on social media, Haifa deputy mayor-designate Raja Zaatry announced Wednesday that his party would instead give the post to another candidate from his party, who has also posted anti-Israel statements on Facebook.
In a press conference in Haifa, Zaatry said he would not apologize for his past statements defending Hezbollah, comparing Zionism to Nazism and the IDF to Islamic State. But he clarified that he is against targeting civilians.

“I am against terror and all harm to innocent people, whether they are Arabs, Jews, Chinese, or Americans” Zaatry said. “But we know that a nation under occupation has a right to oppose occupation with all legitimate means.”

Zaatry praised new Haifa mayor Einat Kalisch Rotem, who decided to appoint him to the sole deputy mayor post. He said she withstood tremendous pressure to remove the Haifa Front (Hadash and Communists) party he heads from the coalition.

“I am proud of my party,” Zaatry said. “We didn’t come to the Haifa city council through a tunnel or on a rocket. We were elected to the council because we promoted peace, social justice and real coexistence.”

But then Zaatry said his party decided after the controversy to give the deputy mayor post to Shahira Shalabi, who was second on the Haifa Front list.

Shalabi expressed support for terrorism during Operation Protective Edge in August 2014, when she posted on Facebook “with spirit and blood, we will redeem Gaza.” When asked at the press conference if she would condemn Hezbollah, she said she preferred to “condemn the occupation.”

“This is a sad day for Israeli democracy, which is bankrupt, with a government that interferes and pursues a young man because of his political views,” Shalabi said. “I won’t be the good Arab who provides the goods. We are partners. We are against terrorism and in favor of rights for the Palestinian people.”

Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) called upon Kalisch Rotem not to appoint Shalabi, due to her social media posts. Regev said it would be more fitting for Zaatry to serve as the deputy of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah or Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh.

“Such people cannot be given positions of power and salaries from the State of Israel, whose destruction they support,” Regev said.
If the appointment is approved by the city council, Shalabi will be the first Arab female to serve as deputy mayor of Haifa.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

FROM LEFT: Michael Siegal, Jewish Agency chairman of the board; Owen Egre, 10,000th Onward Israel pa
June 26, 2019
Surge in Diaspora young professionals in Israeli programs

By ALAN ROSENBAUM

Cookie Settings