Meet the new MK: Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad

Yazbak hopes to fight poverty in the Arab sector and “act for the national liberation of the Palestinians.”

MK Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad (photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Name: Heba Yazbak
Party: Balad, of the UAL-Balad list
Age: 33
Hometown:  Nazareth
Family status: Married +1
Profession before becoming an MK: Sociology lecturer
Why did you decide to enter politics?
I entered politics to influence and change the everyday social and political situation.
What are the first bills you plan to propose?
The first thing I plan to do is not propose a bill but to act to establish an authority to fight poverty in Arab society, that will include fighting the policies that lead to poverty in Arab society. I will focus on the social welfare of Arab society, including the areas of violence, expropriation of land and home demolitions. These are the topics that concern and worry me very much, and I intend to act on them.
What was the most interesting experience on the campaign trail?
It was most interesting to meet children and youth and see their involvement in the election. Their curiosity and interest in politics touched me.
This election has been notable for especially negative campaigning. What do you hope to do to bring people together after these divisive months?
Our most important project is against the incitement toward us and against the racist and discriminatory policies against Arab citizens. We must reunite and rebuild the Joint List [of all four Arab parties, which split into two blocs before the election].
What is your position on US President Donald Trump’s expected peace plan and on a possible Palestinian state?
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a peace plan but a unilateral plan that only serves the Israeli interest. I do not see the Palestinian, regional or other interests. We must act for the national liberation of the Palestinians and adopt UN resolutions on the matter.
What should the government’s response be to growing global antisemitism?
I oppose all expressions of antisemitism and we must eradicate all racist phenomena around the world, whether against immigrants, minorities and other weak populations. At the same time, Israel must not make political use of this difficult phenomenon in order to justify the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.
Do you support maintaining the status quo on religion and state – including issues like marriage, public transportation on Shabbat, kashrut, the Western Wall and others?
I support the separation of religion and state and the political platform of Balad for a state of all its citizens, including full civil equality in all areas without differences of religion, race or gender.
What can be done to lower the cost of living?
The state must invest in welfare of the individual instead of the security state and occupation. We must end the occupation and the budget flow to the occupation, army and settlements. There must be a real welfare policy in this country.

Is there something else people should know about you?

What guides me most is justice – political, social and historic. I will act for the good of the Palestinian citizens in the country in all areas. I see my work as a mission for justice in all forms and hope to succeed in bringing it about.