The world is not all black (well, maybe dark gray) and when it comes to confronting antisemitism there are occasional spots of light.
Within Israel, the revolting Balad Party MK Hanin Zoabi (or Zouabi) has never had any compunction in siding with our worst enemies, participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, even going so far as to condemn Mahmoud Abbas (!) for treason (!) for cooperating with Israel in the search for the three kidnapped teens.
It should have been taken for granted that the Israeli judicial system would have supported the decision of the Central Election Committee to prevent this evil person from running in the next elections, but as our super-progressive lenient (towards the left and anti-Zionist camp) Supreme Court is wont to do, they let her off with a slapped wrist for her earlier incitement and then proceeded to overturn the ban on Zoabi’s running for reelection.
The good news is that the fight has now been joined by the left wing of Israel’s political spectrum as the Zionist Camp (previously known as the Labour Party together with Hatenua and escapees from assorted other minor parties) has joined the bid to ban Zoabi from running:
The left-of-center Zionist Camp Knesset list on Thursday signed on to an initiative to disqualify the controversial Arab Israeli Knesset member Hanin Zoabi from running in the elections in March. Zoabi, of the Joint Arab List, has already been sanctioned over past comments that were deemed inflammatory, and a six-month ban against her participating in Knesset debates expired last Thursday.
In a statement, the Zionist Camp, which united the Labor Party and its leader, MK Isaac Herzog, with MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party, said that it would also seek to bar the far-right activist Baruch Marzel from running for parliament.
“The Zionist Camp today signed on to the petition by the Coalition Against Racism to disqualify the candidacy of Baruch Marzel with the Yachad list for Knesset,” the statement said. “The Zionist Camp also announces that it will support the disqualification of MK Hanin Zoabi. The candidates in question are extremists, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, whose [political] activity is suffused with incitement, racism and hatred, to the point where it threatens democracy.”
Zoabi, an outspoken critic of the Israeli government and Israeli society, first came under fire for taking part in the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza in 2010. More recently, she refused to label as “terrorists” the men who abducted three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank and set off a chain of events that culminated in the Gaza war last summer.
I heartily applaud the “Zionist Camp” (and the right-wing are NOT Zionist?) for their joining in the fight against Zoabi’s incitement, extremism, and activism on behalf of our enemies. What I object to is their equating Baruch Marzel to Hanin Zoabi. No matter how extreme and “ultra-nationalist” Marzel’s views, he has never called for mass murder of Arabs. I find their insertion of Marzel’s name into their campaign opportunistic and a tad self-righteous, as if to demonstrate their even-handedness. But there shoud be no even-handedness when it comes to treason and assisting the enemy.
Be that as it may, I am glad that the left wing have joined battle with the right on this extremely important issue. Let’s just wait and see if the Supreme Court can twist itself around from its usual position of bending over backwards to see the other side, and straighten itself out in order to side with Israel and the simple human right to life of Israelis and Jews.
Contrast Zoabi’s execrable behaviour to her young relative Muhammad Zoabi’s outstandingly courageous stance in the face of threats of violence and even death as he unwaveringly supports Israel. Muhammad was in such fear of his life that he took refuge at terror survivor Kay Wilson’s house before fleeing to Canada. Muhammad’s mother too is an amazing person who fully supports her son. Thank G-d he is safe and has now returned home.
Edited to add: cba in the comments below remarks that Muhammad is NOT safe, his life is under constant threat and his family are being attacked and harassed. There is now a petition circulating to be presented to the Prime Minister urging the government to grant him 24/7 security. Please sign the petition here and pass it on.
Read his Facebook page (and follow it) for continuing updates.
Muhammad Zoabi is an outstanding example not only of courage and steadfastness, but of loyalty to Israel despite the fact that he is a Muslim. In fact by his very actions he puts to shame people like his Hanin Zoabi and her supporters who claim that you can’t support a strong Israel if you are an Arab or a Muslim.
Another quite mind-boggling piece of good news comes from UNESCO whose Director-General banned a series of Palestinian posters for being antisemitic:
The decision by Irina Bokova to block the Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters from being accepted into UNESCO’s Memory of the World program marks the first time such a nomination has been vetoed.
The collection was initially accepted by an advisory board but then blocked by Bokova, who said some of the posters were “totally unacceptable” and “run counter to the values of UNESCO,” the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Besides universal themes of occupation and the motifs depicting the struggle for liberation and peace — such as barbed wire and white doves — many of the posters feature machine guns and hand grenades, extolling armed resistance and terrorism. Some of the posters glorify Palestinian suicide attacks and other murderous missions against Israeli civilians, including a 1978 massacre known in Israel as the bloodiest terror attack in the country’s history.
In August, the collection — which includes some 1,700 posters celebrating the Palestinian national liberation movement — was accepted for formal review by UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Register, which strives to preserve archival holdings of “world significance and outstanding universal value.”
Usually, nominations are considered by an international advisory board, and, if approved, confirmed by the organization’s director-general. In this particular case, too, the board reviewed the nomination and none of its members raised any concerns, which indicated that the board would recommend that the director-general formally accept the collection into the register.
However in this case, Bokova, surprised that no one had raised any objections to the posters, said she has decided to block the collection’s approval.
“In my capacity of Director General of UNESCO, I will oppose any such proposal for inscription,” she wrote in a December 23 letter to the chair of the advisory board, Helena Asamoah-Hassan. Some of the posters “would seem totally unacceptable and run counter to the values of UNESCO and its aspiration to build peace in the minds of men and women,” Bokova wrote.
Clearly, “some of these posters are offensive,” she wrote in another letter to World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, who had protested the nomination. “It is my conviction that UNESCO should not associate itself with such documents whose inscription could fuel hatred and anti-Semitic perceptions.”
Bokova addressed a similar letter to the Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO, Elias Sanbar, warning that the collection’s inclusion in the program could promote “hate and anti-Semitism.”
Irina Bokova has an interesting history regarding Israel’s relationship with UNESCO:
In January 2014, the organization made headlines for canceling an exhibition about the Jewish people’s connection to the Holy Land due to Arab pressure. After an international outcry, the exhibition eventually opened on June 11 in Paris. However, from its original name, “The 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel,” the words “Land of Israel” were removed as per UNESCO’s demand and replaced with “Holy Land.” A panel about Jewish refugees from Arab countries was also cut from that exhibition.
Now, Jewish leaders congratulated her again — for taking a principled stance in preventing the Palestine-themed posters from receiving UNESCO’s stamp of approval. Singer, the World Jewish Congress CEO, lauded her “personal courage and integrity in personally looking into” the matter. In a January 12 letter, he thanked her for the “unambiguous opposition to all forms of hatred, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.”
Kol hakavod to Irina Bokova for her principled stance and clear-eyed view of Palestinian antisemitism. Of course, as Bokova herself pointed out, the posters should never have made it past the vetting committee, a problem which reflects very badly on UNESCO.
But maybe we can begin to have some hope for some fair-mindedness towards Israel with Irina Bukova at the helm.