It sounded quite unthinkable, but Knesset member Haneen Zoabi (Balad) blamed Israel for the recent slaying of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. “Israel is not a victim, not even when civilians are killed,” she declared in an interview with Channel 10.
Zoabi elaborated: “Israel’s policy of occupation is at fault. If there was no occupation, no repression and no blockade, then this wouldn’t have happened.”
Her comments failed to rouse furor among the Israeli public, which has grown inured to brazen provocation from Arab MKs bankrolled by Israeli taxpayers. Our local media reported the story, but on the whole abstained from comment.
Zoabi’s rationalization of mass murder went right under the radar of the international community. We need only imagine the ferocious maelstrom had an Israeli parliamentarian dared hint that indiscriminately murdering Palestinian tots, their mothers, fathers and all other Arab civilians is tolerable because they have it coming.
The pandemonium would be nothing less than horrific, as would the bad press tarnishing the Israeli collective.
But this sentiment sounded by an Arab Israeli not only excites no censure, it is probably received sympathetically abroad. It is the very spurious narrative that overseas opinion-molders accept, cultivate and disseminate.
Zoabi is an old hand at skewing the truth and championing terrorism.
She hobnobbed with Hamas leaders, praised them to the hilt, participated in the Mavi Marmara provocation of 2010, partied with the terrorists released in the Schalit swap last year and authored an inflammatory “Forward” to Israel-basher Ben White’s latest book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.
There she castigates Israel as a “colonialist racist project.” She explicitly applauds exploiting “the power inherent in democracy to undermine the moral and political legitimacy of Israel.”
Her pearls of wisdom include the following: “A Jewish state leads to the end of democracy,” “The largest threat to Zionism is democracy” and “to demand full civic and national equality is actually to demand the end of Zionism. So we don’t hate Zionism. Zionism hates democracy.”
Zoabi feigns innocence as a promoter of democracy. Her bottom line is that the disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state is democracy’s praiseworthy, progressive objective. To oppose said objective is undemocratic.
Thus democracy is successfully assaulted by using the democratic idiom against it. Democrats fear raising a ruckus lest they be admonished for not being as self-destructively democratic as cynical anti-democrats oblige them to be. Willy-nilly, democrats turn into timid accomplices in their own destruction.
This, perhaps, is why most Israeli politicians did not bother responding to Zoabi’s justification of the premeditated homicide of tourists on European soil for the sole crime of being Israeli.
It is easy to factually refute Zoabi’s contentions. Terrorism and massacres were carried out by Arabs against Jews long before the existence of the Jewish state, the start of so-called occupation and certainly without connection to any sort of blockade. Local Arabs sporadically went on ghastly large-scale killing sprees from 1920 onward.
But more chilling than Zoabi’s utter mendacity are her moral lapses. The none-too-concealed subtext of her argument is that there are no limits to what may be done to any Israeli, of any age, of any gender and of any status, because Israelis (and by extension Jews) bring it on themselves.
It is permissible to bomb them when they go on a school bus, when they ride a city bus or when they board a tourist bus. No restraints or restrictions are obligatory when combating Jews. Zoabi’s allegation that Israelis are “occupiers” suffices to justify any and all manner of gruesome punishments for that crime.
Zoabi’s version of humanism is to declare that any Israeli deserves the death penalty by virtue of nothing more than the fact that she determines that Israel is the incontrovertible villain of the Mideastern saga.
Zoabi may again feign innocence and claim that this is not quite what she said, but this is where her logic inescapably leads.
We are not necessarily calling for punitive moves against her sedition and incitement. We are just wondering about the worrisome absence of outrage and revulsion, especially from Israel’s Arab sector.