A response to Haneen Zoabi’s article in Newsweek

Haneen Zoabi has a right to her views. As distasteful and despicable as we may find them, she is entitled to that right, but let’s be honest about this. It’s a right afforded to her by the virtue of the fact that she lives in a country that is free and democratic – a country she may detest, but one that has granted her the right to air that detestation in public. She is, after all, a “victim” of that democratic state apparatus – serving as a member of the Israeli Knesset whose salary is paid for by the mostly Jewish citizens of the very country she demonizes.
But, like something out of a George Orwell dystopian novel, she tries to spin the story in such a way that projects the exact opposite of the situation on the ground, a situation where Lies equal Truth. Oppression is Freedom. Terrorists are  Victims.
The tragedy is not that a 15 year old girl lies dead in a pool of blood, a girl whose intention was to murder and kill as many innocent Jews as she could. The tragedy is that she is from a society that will not mourn her death, but celebrate it and welcome it with pride and honour. And unlike the Palestinians, Israeli society does not celebrate her death, but instead will breathe a sigh of relief that by stopping her, innocent people will make it home to their loved ones that evening – something that sadly does not always happen.
These children are not part of a political movement, she says, but are the result of a well-organized oppression. She is right, but the oppression does not come from the State of Israel, but from the Palestinian regime itself. It comes from a society in which daily hatred and incitement is broadcast on official television channels. It comes from a society where music videos celebrating murder and stabbings are wildly popular. It comes from a society where a Palestinian man, Anas Ismail, is sentenced to prison for simply liking a Facebook page, critical of the Palestinian leadership.
Zoabi laments about undemocratic practices, yet does not consider Hamas a terror organisation, even though their very ethos is the ethnic cleansing and murder of all Jews worldwide, as well as being an organisation that seized power in Gaza in 2007 through a military coup. That doesn’t sound very democratic to me.
How ironic it is of her to accuse Netanyahu of a hate campaign, when her entire foundation is built upon the foundations of hatred towards Israel. And how ironic it is for her to complain about being branded as a traitor, when she participated in the Gaza flotilla in 2010 being aboard the Mavi Marmara ship, whose very intention was to break the Gaza blockade, a blockade that even the United Nations, under the Palmer report, had deemed legal. And if you participate in trying to destroy the legitimate self-defence of a country of which you’re a citizen in order to do harm to it, then what are you, if not a traitor? In just about any country in the world, this is called treason and is punishable by prison or even death.  And that is also the point where the rights granted to a normal citizen should arguably be removed.
She claims that Israel is engaged in policies to discriminate against the indigenous people of the land. How wrong she is – for the indigenous people are not the Palestinians, as she wants the world to believe, but the Jews whose archaeological evidence, culture, history and literature stretch back thousands of years. In every corner of Israel, the evidence is plain to see, hidden under the sands in countless digs around the country, or rising up among the many ancient buildings of Jerusalem.  And if she is referring to the Arabs of Israel, then how discriminatory is it really when Arab citizens are police commissioners and serve in the highest court of the land - even sentencing a former president to prison.  Contrary to what she alleges, Arabs have full rights in Israel.
There can be no justification for killing she says, in some feeble attempt to say violence is wrong, but then completely contradicts herself by saying “the occupier has no right to self-defence” while “we, the occupied, have the full and only right to fight it.“ And every follower of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict knows that the Palestinians always describe their attacks on innocent Israeli citizens with knives or guns or cars as acts of “legitimate self-defence.”
Haneen Zoabi wants us to think she is a rational person whose vision is one of justice and equality, but the justice she talks about is not the justice found in western democratic societies, but the justice found among much of the Arab world, including the Palestinian authority, where all minorities are persecuted, freedom of speech is suppressed and selling land to Jews is punishable by death.
That is not the kind of justice that will ever lead to peace.