The wrong parliament

The sea-loving MK from the Mavi Marmara and I share the same identity card and the same citizenship.But we do not share the same destiny.

MK Hanin Zoabi (photo credit: KNESSET CHANNEL)
MK Hanin Zoabi
(photo credit: KNESSET CHANNEL)
Nature is cyclical – the waves strike the shore, recede and return to strike again. Labor pains get stronger, then weaker, then stronger again. The blazing summer heat is pushed out by the cold winter and then returns to beat down on us again. Everything comes and goes, ebbs and flows.
In that same cosmic rhythm, once every so often an Arab member of Knesset voices an enraging provocation.
And the less solid his or her footing in the party or sector, the greater the provocation. It’s as if there was some sort of divine nectar that guaranteed permanent relevance – just open your mouth and you’ll be in the Knesset forever.
Let’s say the publicity-hungry provocateur of the moment was expelled from the Knesset. Would that solve the problem? Not in the least. The rot is much deeper; it’s only the abscess on the surface that we see. The Knesset members from the Joint List do not identify with Israel. They are hostile to the country and are working against it. That’s the real story.
Could an adviser to the Taliban chief or Osama bin Laden serve in the US Congress? Of course not. But Arafat’s adviser (whose similarity to them outweighs any differences) was a member of the Israeli parliament.
That sort of anomaly can only happen here.
The sea-loving MK from the Mavi Marmara and I share the same identity card and the same citizenship.
But we do not share the same destiny; we are not going in the same direction. Our attitudes toward the country of which we are both citizens are diametrically opposed, our hopes for the future of that country are totally different. I share a common future with the Druse citizens of Israel, with the Circassians and with all Arabs who have tied their destiny to Israel. Anyone who flies the Israeli flag proudly, who celebrates Independence Day and mourns the fallen on Memorial Day, is my ally. Virtually none of the MKs from the Joint List answer to this definition. Consequently, expelling the most boisterous of them from the Knesset is like taking aspirin for a terminal illness.
Some of those MKs could be excellent parliamentarians.
They are simply in the wrong parliament.
They should be members of a legislature where they have a sense of national identity, not that of a country they despise, a feeling they voice stridently at every opportunity. They identify with and support our enemies. No one will bother them if they want to stay where they are and live peacefully in their own homes, but they should vote and stand for election only where their heart tells them they belong. That’s just simple logic, no more than common sense.
What is more, they are doing their own sector a disservice. Much can be done to improve the conditions of the Arabs who do want to be part of Israel and see their future in the Zionist state. But those MKs devote their time to creating a rift between Jews and Arabs, making life harder for their constituents and giving them all a bad name.
In addition to these two sins – one against the country and the other against their constituents – they are committing a third and even more heinous offense, this one to their own honor. Despite their hatred for the Zionists, they are happy to accept their salary check from us. They take advantage of the liberties, including freedom of speech, which exist in this part of the world only in the Zionist state, and then wield them like an axe in an attempt to cut down the towering tree in whose shade they shelter and whose fruit they eat.
Translated from Hebrew by Sara Kitai.