The misfortunate Ms. Zoabi?
Photo: Gil Yohanan
May the heavens have mercy at the honorable Ms. Hanin Zoabi, who found herself in such cruel state like Israel. A state that dares stop illegal invasion through the sea. A state that unlike its lovely neighbors does not allow for freedom of expression. A state where the minority fears for its life every day, especially Ms. Zobai herself – every time I see her eating at a coffee shop in Jerusalem's German Colony neighborhood I can see the signs of tensions on her face.
If only Ms. Zoabi could walk around Israel peacefully, just like Israelis can walk in Gaza. If only Ms. Zoabi had a chance to be an opposition member in Syria or in Libya. If only she could be an educated woman in Gaza who demands equality for women – oh, what a wonderful life she would have.
Yet the poor Zoabi found herself in Israel, and things are truly terrible for her, oh God. Her salary as a Knesset member is merely some NIS 30,000 per month (roughly $9,000.) She enjoys lesser terms than those of a minister, and now she has been banned from the Knesset for two weeks. Two weeks!
Balad MK removed from Knesset until end of annual session following her participation in last year's Gaza flotilla; to be banned from speaking at Knesset, attending debates. Ethics Committee: 'Participation in flotilla does not fall within an MK's legitimate freedom of action'
And all of this is happening just because she said there was no violence on the Gaza flotilla in 2010, while in reality there certainly was? Just because she said she saw nobody beating up soldiers, while the photos proved that she was standing right by the violence? Banning her just for that? For her participation in a violent effort to invade Israel's borders? For her part in an incident where a Navy Commando who boarded the vessel unarmed was almost abducted?
Who said that an Israeli Knesset member has to be in favor of our Navy commandos rather than in favor of Turkish terror activists? Where is democracy? Where is freedom of expression? How could an Israeli citizen not be allowed to fight Israel and undermine its very existence? How could a person who merely thinks Israel is an illegitimate state get such grave punishment from the Knesset's Ethics Committee? How low can we go?
Maybe we'll even pass a law forbidding terrorists from running for Knesset and banning criminals from being chosen for the Supreme Court? So sad and regrettable to see Ms. Zoabi's bitter fate; it really makes one eager to set up another protest tent near the Knesset cafeteria.
Instead of being a modern, single woman in one of our enlightened neighbors – Syria, Egypt, Jordan or Iran – how this pleasant lady found herself in the violent, brutal Israel of all places? Let's hope her terrible punishment elapses soon. We're all with you, Hanin Zoabi; we're all with you.
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