For Zoabi this is an issue close to her heart; it stokes the fire in her belly. She posted a status on Facebook in which she asked who are those “barbarians” who are terrorizing the lives of residents with their violence and their weapons. Zoabi wrote of social terrorism against women, and women’s freedom of movement, expression and conduct.
Ostensibly, her comments were both just and on point — the phenomenon of Arab towns being ruled by a handful of armed violent criminals is a painful affliction in our community. Just yesterday a resident of Jaljulya was murdered by gunfire. Last week a school principal was shot and severely wounded in Kuseife. But Zoabi’s post went on to analyze the situation of religious coercion and incitement against both women and men who offer a different voice. And more significantly — Zoabi hinted at a link between clerics and extremists who seek control through violence and firearms. She added a clause in which she demanded that all the political movements, including the Islamic Movement must enhance their “social control” of clerics and imams in Arab towns and villages. They need to supervise what is said in the said in mosques on Fridays. “There are some people who think it is their own fiefdom,” wrote Zoabi.
Naturally, this statement angered many people who mobilized to defend Islam, the clerics and the Islamic Movement, whose members had condemned the shooting of the women’s marathon organizer and, alongside all the Joint List Knesset members, supported her.
From here on, the lively discussion very quickly became stormy and heated. Serious accusations of incitement, slander and “disturbing the peace” were hurled at Zoabi. This was the trigger for Photoshop wizards who rushed to fabricate shocking images of the MK. In one of them, Zoabi’s shaved head was superimposed on an orange-clad man’s body, next to whom there was a black-draped ISIS fighter! (Does that methodology remind us of anything?). This picture repulsed me, sending shivers up my spine in a way that I had never felt before; I felt as if the horrors of Islamic State are closer to me than ever before. Look at just how far the extreme right’s campaign of fear and incitement has permeated our community. For these were the same images used by the extreme right in its campaign to anoint Zoabi as the enemy of the people. And, of course, the sight of ISIS’ crimes, which are all over the Internet, govern our consciousness, crossing all boundaries or red lines of morality and law — of what is legitimate and what is permissible within the limits of freedom of expression.
This is what happens when you prevent those among Palestinians who follow the rules to reach any right, legal solution.
You simply tell their people that they are not the ones to follow. They lose respect for them.
And they look toward those who are succeeding everywhere.
Not a game I’d like to play, to be honest.
It’s simply too stupid, even for someone who awaits the Armageddon.