MK Haneen Zoabi speaks to the media as she enters a hearing at the High Court in Jerusalem December 27, 2012..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Coalition MKs blasted Joint List Mk Haneen Zoabi on Monday after she compared Israelis to Nazis at an event marking Kristallnacht in Amsterdam on Sunday.
“Kristallnacht didn’t suddenly fall from the sky, come out of nowhere, it was the result of a development over time. We can see a similar development happening in Israel over the last several years,” Zoabi said Sunday afternoon.
Her appearance was organized by Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion, a far-left group that is shunned by local Jews for its members’ perceived animosity toward Israel and sympathy for Hamas.
About 200 people attended.
In response to the speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely responded saying her appearance at an event commemorating Kristallnacht was a “mockery.”
“Haneen Zoabi uses the tragedy of the Jewish people in order to spread her lies and slander, while she herself encourages terrorism and the murder of Jews.”
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said, “Haneen Zoabi proved again today that she is a fifth column and that she has no place in the Israeli Knesset.”
“Zoabi continues to take advantage of her role in the Knesset in order to slander the state and distort history,” he said.
It is more difficult to understand, continued Levin, why High Court justices have not decided that she has no place in the Knesset.
Zoabi responded to the criticism, telling The Jerusalem Post on Monday, “Let’s see who does not understand history: Germany in the 1930s passed racist laws one by one. Step by step democratic Germany became a totalitarian and fascist state.”
“What is happening in Israel is even more dangerous than this, since Israel is not a democratic state,” she argued.
The state was built to give special privileges to Jews, “in other words the authorization of racist laws,” claimed Zoabi.
And when human rights NGOs try to fight against these racist laws, their voice is demonized, she continued.
“When you call openly for violence against the Arab population, there is no criticism,” she said, adding that politicians such as Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett are encouraging violence against the Palestinians.
“So who exactly is inciting?” exclaimed Zoabi.
In her speech in Amsterdam she had said, “During Kristallnacht, thousands of businesses and hundreds of synagogues were ruined and burned down by German brown shirts. Perhaps the majority of Germans did not approve, but they kept quiet.”
“When in Israel two churches and tens of mosques are burned; and hundreds of Israeli supporters of Beitar shout ‘death to the Arabs’ after each soccer match; when a family is burned to death; when a 15-year-old boy is burned to death, the majority keeps quiet, although they are perhaps shocked,” she said equating the two.
“I identify with the victims,” she said of those killed in the Holocaust.
“We must not keep silent or we will be responsible,” she said to applause.
“Each day my people are killed, and they are calling me terrorist,” she declared.
She called for a popular struggle.
“Not a call for violence, but a call for freedom,” she had said.
Zoabi was also heckled from the audience in Amsterdam.
“Stop stabbing Jews,” one audience member shouted.
Her microphone was cut off for several seconds during her speech.