Where Israel Is Going?

Zionist Hysteria against Raja Za’atara in Haifa

A Statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 12.12.2018, http://www.the-isleague.com

In the last municipal elections in Haifa the former right wing mayor, Yona Yahav, was defeated by Einat Kalisch-Rotem, backed by the Zionist Camp. She formed a coalition with the reformist Hadash, connected with the Communist party, and the Haredim. For the last few days she is under incredible pressure for the fact she formed her coalition with Raja Za’atara, the Hadash representative in the city council, who will become the deputy mayor in two and a half years. Over the past few years Raja participated in many demonstrations during which Palestinian flags were waved. In a recent demonstration three months ago, Za’atara told Yedioth Ahronoth that he is protesting “against the siege imposed on Gaza, the killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters, and the oppression and intimidation policy.” Speaking on the panel at Bar-Ilan University three years ago, he sparked ire by comparing the Islamic State (ISIS) to the Zionist movement. “Where did they (ISIS) learn these crimes? Look up what the Zionist movement did in 1948. Rape, looting, murder and massacres were committed here,” he said. When asked whether Hamas is a terror organization, the Hadash party member replied, “No. An occupied nation has the right to resist the occupation.” He also refused to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Under the pressure Einat Kalisch-Rotem asked Raja Za’atara to issue a statement in which he denies all the statements attributed to him.

According to a report in Hahadashot, Kalisch told Za’atara, “I am under pressure and you have to clarify things, in this situation our coalition will not last for a week.” Za’atara replied, “I plan a press conference.”

The right wing coalition chairman David Amsalem yesterday submitted a bill to prevent the appointment of Raja Za’atara as deputy mayor of Haifa. The bill says that a city council may not appoint a deputy mayor who expressed support for a terrorist organization. According to the bill, the interior minister may cancel such an appointment retrospectively, subject to a hearing.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting on Monday that he asked Kalisch to “cancel the appointment of a deputy mayor who supports Hezbollah and Hamas,” adding that he hoped Kalish would accept his request.

Za’atara himself refused to retract his remarks and claimed in an interview with Radio 103FM that “ISIS did ethnic cleansing and the Zionist movement did ethnic cleansing in 1948. I am not a member of neither Hamas nor Hezbollah, but of the Israeli Communist Party and the Hadash movement that advocates peace, equality and the brotherhood of nations.”

“Netanyahu and his corrupt government are trying to divert public opinion. The real danger to the people of Israel is not in the municipality of Haifa, but on 10 Balfour Street in Jerusalem. When I am a deputy, it is reasonable to assume that Netanyahu and Deri will already be in prison” he said.

The Zionist hysteria accusing Raja Za’atara of supporting terror against Israel is a simple lie. Was he in support of terror, he would have been long ago in jail.

The Internationalist Socialist League (ISL), the section of the RCIT in occupied Palestine, condemns the racist campaign against Raja Za’atara as an attack on the Palestinians citizens of Israel and the democratic rights of those who are not right-wingers. We call to defend the democratic rights of the Palestinians citizens of Israel under attack who constitute 20% of Israel’s Population.

Raja Za’atara’s statements are over all accurate regarding the Nakaba, where the Zionists armed gangs carried out more than 30 massacres in order to force the Palestinians to flee for their life, being a war crime much worse than the terrorist actions of ISIS against civilians in Syria – not to speak of the fact that ISIS fought against Assad the butcher and the imperialists (which the Communist party supported). Carrying the Palestinian flag is the right of every one who cares about the oppressed Palestinians. The blockade of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of Palestinians and injuring tens of thousands since March 30 is a war crime or a crime against humanity by international law. While Hamas has carried out terrorist actions, most actions are directed against settlers who steal Palestinian lands and they pale in comparison to the state terror of Israel. Hamas represent the oppressed occupied Palestinians and Hezbollah was formed in the struggle of the people of Lebanon against the 18 year long Zionist occupation.

These attacks on Raja Za’atara for having the courage to tell the truth and the mounting pressure on the new mayor are indications of the level Zionism has sank to. Once a time, Israel could have been characterized as an ethno-democracy only for the Jews, now it is a democracy only for the insane right-wingers that are part of the far right and their friends are the fascists of Europe and the irrational Trump.

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