An Israeli Knesset election committee voted to bar Israeli Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi from running in next month’s national election. The vote was 19-9 on a motion presented by a Likud Knesset member. The committee seeking to slice the baby clean in half, voted not to disqualify two Israeli Palestinian political parties from contesting the election.
This is a regular charade presented by the Israeli nationalist right for the sake of their ultra-rightist supporters. It’s a form of waving red meat before their eyes so they will be more motivated to vote for parties like Likud which are supposedly upholding good old-fashioned values like Mom, apple pie and Israeli racism. In the Israeli land of the blind, the one-eyed racist is king.
Since our right-wing friends here will be reminding us of the totally sound reasoning of the committee, let’s get its reasoning out-of-the-way: Zoabi participation in the Mavi Marmara effort to break the Israeli blockade constituted support for terrorism. She is also blamed for the attacks on IDF commandos who boarded the ship in an effort to subdue it and take it captive. Even though she is a short woman of middle age with nothing threatening or lethal in her demeanor, she’s viewed as the leading cheerleader of anti-Jewish violence (without any foundation in fact). Further, rightists believe they need to teach her a lesson that Israel is a Jewish state and that no one who rejects the supremacy of Jews in this State should be allowed to serve in its parliament.
The decision is subject to review by the Israeli Supreme Court, which routinely overturns these decisions. It’s a neat and convenient little charade: it allows right-wingers to claim they’ve upheld their values; and allows liberal Zionists to trumpet the bedrock democratic values that the Supreme Court maintains. No one seems to ask the question: why should the Court even be dealing with such a nonsensical matter?