Zoabi: Israel is playing with fire

Controversial Arab MK tells UK 'Guardian' third intifada possible.

BaladMKHaneenZoabi311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Knesset member Haneen Zoabi said that a third intifada could be on the way if the Israeli government continues to marginalize its Arab citizens, the UK's Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.
According to the Guardian, Zoabi said that Arab Israelis are feeling increasingly connected to the the cause of the Palestinians, and increasingly isolated by the Israeli political and legal systems.
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"It took us 40 years for us to admit that we were even Palestinians. Another 15 years passed before we realised that the peace process started under Oslo had been a disaster. The Zionist project was to domesticate its Arab citizens as the hewers and drawers of water. But the carrot-and-stick approach failed, and now we see Israel is prepared to throw away its liberal side to control us. We were passive once and now we are becoming active about our national identity," Zoabi reportedly said.
Following her participation in the Mavi Marmara flotilla in June, Knesset voted to strip MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) of some of her parliamentary privileges, including denying her the right to hold a diplomatic passport; her right to subsidized legal counsel in the event of criminal proceedings against her over her participation in the flotilla, or for any related future offenses; and any extra privileges she could enjoy as a member of Knesset traveling overseas.
A series of lawmakers, both Arab and Jew, complained that such a move endangered Israeli democracy, but Zoabi’s opponents argued that it was the freshman MK who constituted a threat to Israel.
According to the Guardian, Zoabi commented not only on the flotilla handling and aftermath, but also voiced her criticism regarding the rape conviction issued against a Palestinian man, and the Shahar Mizrahi case, both of which recently caused an uproar in Israeli society for differing reasons.
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.