Tuesday, 23 November 2010
The Only Democracy in the World Injures Israel’s First Arab Woman Knesset Member
A few weeks ago, we had the police defending the fascists and pogromists whilst attacking their victims? And where was this? Pre-war Poland and Germany? Northern Ireland? South Africa? No Israel.
The fascist Kach movement and supporters decided to march, as the American Nazi Party did through Skoki in Chicago, where many holocaust survivors lived, through the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. And as a bonus, as Haneen Zoabi, a hate figure for Zionists – left and right – since she participated in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – was deliberately shot at by police marksmen and hit twice in the back with rubber bullets. Such a wonderful thing the Jewish State. It can do all the things to Arabs that the goyim did to Jews!!
Zionists and other assorted racists usually try to show how 'backward' Islam is compared to the Judeo-Christian religions by pointing to the position of women in society. 'Look' they say, 'our women walk around without being veiled'. Women in western societies, even if underrepresented take part as equals in the parliamentary process. So what happens when a secular Arab woman is elected to Israel's Knesset? She becomes a target of every Jewish racist and Zionist fanatic in Israel, the recipient of hundreds of death threats, having a Facebook page full of calls for her execution dedicated to her assassination.
Of course none of this should surprise us. Zionism was built on violence and in 1948 demonstrated its determination to use any means, including rape and massacre, to expel the Arab population. So we should not be surprised as these hypocrites bemoan the position of Arab women on the one hand, and when faced with an articulate Arab woman on the other do their best to silence her and in Haneen Zoabi's case, to strip her of Parliamentary privileges and immunity.
Israeli police shoot Haneen Zoabi in back
Protest met with rubber bullets: Israeli police shoot ‘hated’ Arab legislator in back
Israeli police injured two Arab legislators on Wedensay in violent clashes provoked by Jewish rightwing extremists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.
Haneen Zoubi, a parliament member who has become a national hate figure in Israel and received hundreds of death threats since her participation in an aid flotilla to Gaza in the summer, was among those hurt.
Ms Zoubi reported being hit in the back and neck by rubber bullets as she fled the area when police opened fire. In an interview, she said she believed she had been specifically targeted by police snipers after they identified her.
Police denied her claims, saying they had used only tear gas and stun grenades.
Some 1,500 police were reported to have faced off with hundreds of Arab and Jewish demonstrators in the town.
Shimon Koren, the northern police commander, admitted special paramilitary forces had been used against the Arab counter-demonstration, as well as an undercover unit more usually deployed at Palestinian protests in the West Bank.
An officer disguised as an Arab demonstrator, from the so-called “mistarvim unit”, was among the injured, apparently after police fired a stun grenade at him by mistake.
Ms Zoubi harshly criticised the police violence. “The police proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm,” she said.
The march was organised by far-right settlers allied to Kach, a movement that demands the expulsion of Palestinians from both Israel and the occupied territories. The movement was formally outlawed in 1994, but has continued to flourish openly among some settler groups.
The organisers said they were demanding the banning of the Islamic Movement, which has its headquarters in Umm al-Fahm.
The Islamic Movement’s leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has angered Israeli officials by heading a campaign in Jerusalem’s Old City to highlight what he says is an attempted Israeli takeover of the Haram al-Sharif compound that includes the al-Aqsa mosque.
He was also on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza in May, and claimed at the time that Israeli commandos had tried to assassinate him. Nine passengers were killed, some of them by close-range shots to their heads.
The sheikh is currently serving a three-month jail sentence over clashes with the Israeli security forces close to the al-Aqsa mosque.
Michael Ben Ari, a former Kach member and now an MP with the rightwing National Union party, who attended the march, said Israel must not be a “stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice”.
Baruch Marzel, one of the march organisers, told Israel Radio: “If the Kach Party was outlawed, then the Islamic Movement deserves to be outlawed 1,000 times over.”
On hearing of Ms Zoubi’s injuries, he added: “It was worth going to Umm el-Fahm. She is our enemy.”
Afu Aghbaria, an Arab MP with the joint Jewish-Arab Communist party, was also hurt. He said he had been hit in the leg.
Arab leaders said the clash had been triggered by undercover police who began thowing stones from among the demonstrators — a tactic that the unit has been caught on film using at protests in the West Bank.
Mohammed Zeidan, head of the Higher Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Israel’s Arab citizens, who comprise a fifth of the total population, condemned the police actions.
“Racism is no longer found only in documents or on the margins, like with Marzel, but has become a phenomenon among decision-makers and carried out on the ground. What happened today in Umm al-Fahm is a menacing escalation.”
The committee demanded a state investigation into what it called “exaggerated violence” by the police.
Police said nine Arab demonstrators had been arrested for stone-throwing.
Four police officers were reported to be lightly injured. The far-right marchers were escorted away by police, unharmed.
Ms Zoubi, a first-term MP, shot to notoriety this summer after she was among the first passengers to be released following Israel’s violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara.
Ms Zoubi contradicted the Israeli account that the nine passengers had been killed by commandos defending themselves, accusing the navy of opening fire on the ship before any commandos had boarded. She also claimed several passengers had been allowed to bleed to death.
She was provided with a body guard for several weeks after receiving a spate of deaths threats and general villification in the parliament.
The Israeli police have been criticised in the past for lying about the strong-arm methods used to quell protests by the country’s Arab citizens.
A state commission of inquiry found in 2003 that the police had used live ammunition and rubber bullets, in violation of its own regulations, to suppress solidarity demonstrations inside Israel at the start of the second intifada.
Thirteen Arab citizens were killed and hundreds injured in a few days of clashes in 2000. Police had falsely claimed that the deaths had been caused by “friendly fire” from among the demonstrators.
A recently parliamentary report revealed that there were only 382 Muslims in Israel’s 21,000-strong national police force – or less than 2 per cent.
The establishment of the undercover “mistarvim” unit against the country’s Arab population caused outrage among civil rights groups when it was first revealed last year.
The far-right march in Umm al-Fahm was timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary this week of the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded Kach. At a commemoration service in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel told hundreds who attended that the government was allowing the Palestinians to “establish an Ishmael state in Israel”.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books).
Zoabi: 'The police defend fascists, threaten Arab lives'
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND LAHAV HARKOV
Security forces arrest 9 Arabs for throwing rocks at right-wing demonstration in Umm el-Fahm; Marzel calls Zoabi "our enemy."
Police arrested nine Umm el-Fahm residents for rioting in the northern town, reportedly injuring two Arab MKs, as right-wing activists marched on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s assassination.
After the march and the riots, Israel Radio interviewed Baruch Marzel, one of the organizers of the march, and MK Haneen Zoabi, who said she was injured by the police.
"If Zoabi was injured, it was worth going to Umm el-Fahm," Marzel said. "She is our enemy!"
Marzel also called for the Islamic Movement to be outlawed, saying, "We want Jewish children to be able to walk free in Umm el-Fahm, because this is the heart of Eretz Yisrael."
To those who call him racist, Marzel said that he is "not against Arabs or Chinese or anyone. I'm only against my enemies. I'm not a racist; I don't think Agbaria deserved to be injured."
When Israel Radio turned to Zoabi and asked how she was feeling, Zoabi responded, "I'm okay."
To that, Marzel retorted: "If she's not injured, it's bad news." He added that he is "determined to put her in Abbas' parliament, not our Knesset."
Zoabi then claimed that policemen who recognized her shot rubber bullets at her neck and back, as she attempted to take cover.
Police denied injuring Zoabi, and said they did not use rubber bullets at all.
"The police defend fascists, and threaten the lives of Arab citizens because they can shoot and injure people," Zoabi said. "Why don't they shoot in the air? Why did they aim at my back and neck? I am not only threatened by the facist right, I am threatened by the police," the MK said.
On Wednesday morning, Umm el-Fahm residents, as well as haredi Neturei Karta activists carrying signs with the message "Arabs Yes, Zionists No," gathered in the area, and as the march neared the city, residents began to throw rocks.
Police released stun grenades and tear gas into the street in order to scatter Arab residents demonstrating in the area.
Shortly after, Arab teens gathered again to throw rocks at the forces positioned to keep them separated from the march, they also burned tires but police continued to use crowd-dispersal methods from a distance.
National Union MK and Kahane disciple Michael Ben Ari announced on the way to the march that there are terrorists in Umm el-Fahm.
"I warned, and no one listened to me!" Ben Ari said. "I turn to the prime minister and say: There is no reason that the Islamic Movement should be allowed to exist in Israel. In Egypt, it's illegal. In Jordan, they're not allowed to have any influence."
Ben Ari continued: "There is no reason we should be a stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice."
After nearly half an hour of rock-throwing and tire-burning, police ran and rode horses into the streets of Umm el-Fahm, continuing to shoot stun grenades and tear gas, and dragged away the offenders, as the right-wing activists approached the town.
Police arrested nine suspects, and reported that four officers were lightly injured. MKs Afo Agbaria and Haneen Zoabi said they were lightly injured.
"There is a large police presence in and around for this morning's gathering by right-wing activisits," Israel Police spokesman Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post before Wednesday's march. "We are hoping things will be quiet and without any disturbances."
"Different units from different districts are on stand-by in the area, and we are fully prepared to deal with it, if things erupt," Rosenfeld explained.
The march was organized by far-right activist Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, in order to commemorate the murder of Kahane, shot dead by an Egyptian-American terrorist in New York in 1990. Police are opposed to the event due to security concerns, and initially turned down a request to hold the protest, but were forced to authorize it following a High Court ruling in favor of the right-wing activists earlier this year.
Last year, a similar event was held in March by several dozen activists on the outskirts of Umm el-Fahm, in which disturbances broke out after local youths clashed with riot police.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.