Across the Great Divide..
22 January '17..
22 January 2017. I am at an event organised by the Richmond Palestine Solidarity Campaign. A big crowd, perhaps 180, have gathered to hear Israeli Arab member of the Knesset Haneen Zoabi speak. The room is full, but the demographic breakdown is simple. A large majority are white, British and over 55. It is the typical PSC crowd.
Haneen Zoabi had received a standing ovation at the PSC annual general meeting just two days before, she receives one here before she has even spoken. I am in the presence of PSC royalty.
The situation with the Arabs of Israel is complex. If Zoabi was here to fight for the Israeli Arab citizens, she would have my attention. If her aim was to improve the living standards, education and employment prospects of those who voted her into power, she would have my support. If the real goal was to reduce the inequality that minorities often experience, I’d wave a flag in her name. But Zoabi is not here to represent the needs of Israel’s minorities, she is here to perpetuate the external conflict.
When speaking of the democratic freedoms of a minority group Zoabi comments thus: “We want the opposite. Give us our land back. Give us our homeland back. Give us our people back. We don’t want to scream, we don’t need this freedom of expression”. This, as the entire Middle East burns in radical Islamic bush fires around her.
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