Love of the Land..
13 January '15..
Recently, I was asked by an Israeli news reporter how there could be room in the “Jewish Home” for an Arab. He was referring to Anett Haskia, who is running for a seat on the Bayit Yehudi Party’s list. I am honored to consider Anett a friend, and I fully support her candidacy.
At first glance, Anett Haskia appears to be your typical Israeli mother. But this Israeli mother of three is anything but typical. Born and raised in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Akko, Anett describes herself as an Arab Muslim Zionist. She is a proud Israeli citizen who loves her country.
And now she is running for the Knesset, but not as a member of one of the Arab parties. Anett wants a seat in the Bayit Yehudi party – a party whose constitution and platform is religious (Jewish) Zionist. Anett believes that her presence in the party and in the Knesset will help bring about the changes necessary to set Israel on the direction towards real peace.
Don’t get her wrong – Anett does not believe in the “peace process” that has been forced on Israel – like most of the supporters of Bayit Yehudi, Anett believes that the “two-state delusion” is a recipe for disaster that puts Israel’s very existence at risk and will do nothing to achieve peace in the end.
To do that, says Anett, change must begin with strong Arab Israeli leadership, re-education and a new rapprochement between the Government of Israel and her loyal Arab citizens.
To that end, Anett has begun to create programs for Israeli Arab Schools to help shift the identity of young Israeli Arabs from that of “Palestinian” to “Israeli”. She says they need to get away from celebrating Nakba day and start celebrating the Israeli Independence day – for without the state of Israel, the Arab community would not enjoy the freedoms that they do.
Most Arab Israelis know, even if they will not admit it out loud that even with some discrimination and racism that they may experience, they have far more freedom and rights in Israel than they would in any other country in the Middle East.
Anett believes that a significant factor in the situation that Israel faces today lies in the fact that the Arab community has virtually no support for developing an Israeli identity.
“The Arab narrative does not have to be Palestinian” says Anett, and she hopes to be a role model for other loyal Arab Israeli’s who have been afraid to speak out. And by the way, don’t you dare call Anett a Palestinian, or you will get an earful!
I’ve been criticized for my support of an Arab running for Knesset by my fellow religionists – no non-Jew should be given a position of authority over Jews in the Jewish state, they say. They have a point. And, if this were after the redemption, I don’t think it would even be a question. But if you don’t want Arabs in the Knesset, you first have to change the laws of how the government is run, because we already have Arabs in the Knesset, and they are working as hard as they can to dismantle our country.
The Torah makes provision for the “Ger Toshav” – the righteous non-Jew who lives among us. Anett has been known to repeat the words of Ruth – Judaism’s most famous convert – “Your people shall be my people.” She doesn’t mean she wants to convert, but rather, she is expressing her love of the Jewish people and our country. Her country. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Her home is the Jewish home. There is room at the Inn.