Something missing

"Of course I know what democracy and freedom of speech mean..."

“Of course I know what democracy and freedom of speech mean…” [Source: Wikimedia.]

Haneen Zouabi is a Palestinian Arab, an Israeli citizen, and a member of the Knesset. She represents the Balad party.

It’s fair to say she is controversial. She took part in the Marmara (Turkish fiasco) flotilla to Gaza, has met with other virulently anti-Israel groups, and is against any form of Arab service – either in the IDF or the other non IDF programs of national service.

Her position on many issues has been so anti-Israel that some have tried to get her barred from the Knesset. The Israeli High Court overturned the last attempt. There may be more on the way because of what is seen as her continually overstepping the boundaries.

According to this report in the Jerusalem Post, she’s been at it again:

Zoabi thrown out of Knesset meeting for implied threat to Arab Christian IDF officer

Lt. Shadi Halul on Arab MKs: Don’t listen to these racists.

An Arab Christian IDF officer accused Arab MKs of racism during a heated Knesset committee meeting Wednesday, and Balad MK Haneen Zoabi was thrown out of the session for implying a threat to him.

The exchange took place as the Knesset Labor, Health, and Welfare Committee was discussing a bill to give Christians separate representation on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity in Employment.

The topic under discussion may be interesting, but for present purposes it’s Ms Zouabi’s behavior that is more interesting. (Zoabi=Zouabi, incidentally.)

So, we have this:

Christian IDF Officers Forum leader Lt. (res.) Shadi Halul said he is proud to be a Christian and that he wants and deserves to be recognized as such.

“Don’t listen to these racists,” he added, pointing at the Arab MKs.

Note what is happening here. The Christian is calling the Arab MKs racists. Whether he is right or wrong, see what follows:

“You speak for yourself,” Zahalke [a Balad MK] shouted. “You are an enemy of Christians!” MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) stood up for the Arab MKs, calling Halul rude.

Committee chairman Haim Katz (Likud Beytenu) ejected Zoabi from the meeting for implying Halul deserves violence, after she declared to him: “You are a coward! Go to the streets of Nazareth and Kafr Kana, say what you just said, and they’ll give you the response you deserve.”

Zahalke and Gilon are engaging in the swapping of insults. But what about Zouabi? Her response is to suggest that Halul deserves to be physically assaulted, or worse. Isn’t that disgraceful? It’s playground stuff, or mob rule mania.

And calling someone who served in the IDF as a coward? It seems the truth and Ms Zouabi are not close relatives. If anything, Halul’s a brave individual.

What is it about Halul’s opinion – freely stated in public – that so offends Zouabi that she wants him to be silenced? That there are non Jews who want to be part of Israel? (There are.) That there are non Jews who want to serve? (There are.) That the Arab MKs are not representing the true interests of their people? Ahem…

Whatever it is, Zouabi doesn’t like it being said.

The question is whether Zouabi’s desire to shut down Halul’s opinion is a personal lack of respect for the right of freedom of speech, for freedom of expression, or something else. Zouabi, playing the hypocrite, wants the right to say whatever she feels, but is not so keen on others doing the same when it clashes with her own poison. (It’s an attitude remarkably similar to many Israel haters outside of Israel.)

Whatever respect I had for the woman has just gone out the window. She can keep on expressing herself, but on the basis of this performance she’s proven to be an empty vessel.