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Last Monday Toronto hosted an Israeli politician, member of the Knesset. His appearance wasn’t met by the usual crowd of screaming lefties, calling for his lynching for “war crimes”. On the contrary, he was applauded for the simple reason that the guest was Jamal Zahalka, an “Israeli Arab” and a leader of the Balad party.
Listening to him, it was easy to figure out that this wasn’t the ordinary type of parliamentarian elected to serve his country. He sounded like an angry PLO guy, who just came back from stoning an Israeli military post in the West Bank. From his lecture it was clear that he didn’t see himself as an Israeli, he considered himself Palestinian and the Knesset membership was a temporary stunt to be held before better fighting opportunities come up.
The lecture was held at Beit Zetoun, a Palestinian club, which is located in an odd place – across the street from it is “Honest Ed’s” (a huge discount store), which could be considered one of Toronto’s large Zionist projects, because it was founded by “Honest Ed” Mirvish, a very successful businessman and philanthropist (who even supported the Jerusalem Museum). In fact, the whole area is called Mirvish Village in his honour and many of the houses host galleries, arts stores and artists (quite a few of them Jewish).
To preserve its identity among that overwhelming Zionist environment, Beit Zetoun has turned itself into a miniature Palestinian bunker. It is decorated with scary military signs from Israel.
On the walls we could see large photographs of people holding pictures. As the organizers explained, that was in Hebron during the celebration of the “political prisoners” day and the photographer just happened to be there to cover the event. Behind Mr. Zahalka’s back there was a board of stills from a documentary. Supposedly, it covered an Israeli army exercise in the Negev, where they used Palestinian prisoners and even killed one of them (nice to see that Pallywood is still churning out movies).
You could also buy books and Palestinian olive oil for 20 bucks a bottle (looks like the term “competitive price” is unknown here).
The audience consisted of a few people from the notorious Palestine House (they organized the event), a large number of old tired commies and a group of students. Many wore “Support the Intifada” pins. The International Socialists were peddling their communist paper for a buck (or any coins you have). Everybody in the audience received an invitation to a fundraiser for the “Gaza Ark”, a boat that is supposed to sail out of Gaza to export goods (most likely suicide vests).
It was good to see a few familiar faces. I spotted Haroon Siddiqui, the Toronto Star resident Islamist, to whom every Muslim terrorist act is rooted in the Western imperialism. I anxiously await his coverage of the event, where he will probably explain what a great and compassionate humanitarian Mr. Zahalka is.
I also saw Noa Shaindlinger, an emerging star of the Toronto Israeli Apartheid Week and the quintessential self-hating Jew. Recently she got extra notoriety by rejoicing about the death of Israeli soldiers in a helicopter crash. After the event I heard her explaining that she was shocked by the bad reactions and threats she received because of that.
With such an audience, Mr. Zahalka’s success was guaranteed.
He introduced himself – he is a scientist specializing in pharmaceutics. All of his degrees (including the PH.D.) were obtained from Israeli universities (in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem). That’s important to note, because in the whining that followed, he mentioned several times how Palestinians were discriminated in most fields. Not only was he able to graduate despite being arrested for anti-Israeli activities, but his degrees would be recognized internationally due to the high quality of education in Israel (unlike the Arab degrees).
Despite that, he made sure to point out that he would be bashing Israel throughout the lecture (note on the quotes from the transcript: despite Mr. Zahalka’s admirable command of English, that’s not his first language, so some grammar structures may sound odd to native speakers):
Tonight I am going to speak and expose the dirty secret of the Israeli democracy. I’ll try to debunk the myths of Israeli democracy. I think it’s an extremely important mission, because the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people is based on the international legitimacy of the Israel state. People believe that Israel is a democratic state, for that belief Israel gets full legitimacy and this legitimacy is used against the Palestinian people.
It gets worse from here, but his opinion is not unique. As a good friend of mine, with knowledge of Israeli politics, told me, Zahalka is one of the several Arab MKs who regularly bash Israel, not with constructive criticism (as it would be normal and even welcome) but with slanderous accusations bordering on sedition. Among his colleagues at the Knesset, Azmi Bishara consorted with Hezbollah and finally left Israel; Ahmed Tibi was a personal advisor of Arafat at the height of the intifada; Hanan Zuabi was part of the crew in the Gaza Flotilla; and Ibrahim Sarsur was promoting radical Islam and criticizing Israel for Judaizing Jerusalem.
He sees Israelis and Palestinians as having two different narratives – of oppressor and oppressed – that cannot be reconciled.
The story of the victim and the story of the criminal is not the same thing, they are not equal… So at this time we have a Palestinian short story and Israeli very, very, very long story. If you ask a Palestinian [he says] they took me from my village and threw me away, and this is the end of the story.
If ask Israeli – it was 3000 years ago [laughter] and God was involved there in some way… as a real estate agent, he promised me that and gave me that, things like this. Even secular Israelis, who don’t believe in god, still believe in his promise to the people of Israel. A friend of mine wrote an article about the secular Zionism [where he stated its point] there is no god but he promised us the land [laughter]. That’s how you can summarize the secular Zionism’s story.
Of course, that simplistic explanation conveniently omits the long Jewish history in those lands and the numerous international agreements that have established their rights there.
But that doesn’t matter, everything Israelis say is a lie:
It doesn’t mean that the Palestinians don’t lie, many of them lie, but it’s not a personal quality, but a story of the victim. If somebody is a victim he wants to tell about himself as a victim, he wants the facts to be known. That’s why I am saying it’s not equal, it’s not a competition between narratives – there is a lie and there is a fact. We are trying to tell the truth and the Israelis are trying to lie as much as they can. When I analyze the Israeli story, it’s like the onion symbol – you try to find some truth, you uncover the first layer, then the second layer, seeking for something solid – nothing – lie over lie, over lie, over lie. This is the Israeli story. That’s why we have to be very suspicious over the Israeli story.
So what’s the “real” story?
At the very beginning, the project of the Jewish state…you should be aggressive to implement such thing. There was no other way, because the Palestinians were not going to give them the land in good will. So when you take that project of Jewish state and want to implement it in a country where you have an Arab Palestinian majority, now logically you can do it in one of two ways – either to make apartheid, a minority regime, and make a Jewish state, or create a majority regime by expelling the indigenous people from their homeland. This is the logical analysis and somebody may say that things were not clear in the 40s and the 30s, it wasn’t like this. Then in 1939 in a hotel in New York, Biltmore hotel, the Zionist movement decided to establish a Jewish state all over Palestine…
Now the tragedy of the Palestinians was that the logical analysis overlapped totally the historical events. And in ’48 85% of the Palestinian people that the Israeli forces occupied, 800,000 were transferred from their villages and towns. 500 villages were destroyed and the vast majority of the Palestinians in cities were also expelled, and only 100,000 people stayed, and later about 50,000 people joined them because of the Rhodes agreements. So I ask myself why transfer – there are two alternatives, to make apartheid or to make transfer. Why did the Zionist leadership choose transfer? They chose transfer, because they were democrats. They have a self-image of democrats, they cannot suffer a racist regime, so it was easier to take the Palestinians away from the scene and establish the Israeli democracy. And that’s the dirty secret of the Israeli democracy – it’s a democracy built on transfer, no transfer, no Israeli democracy.
There is no other way. If you insist on Jewish state, I’ll say ok, the Palestinians will stay in their country and a minority regime will be established and the Palestinians will suffer from discrimination and I would say that apartheid is the Palestinian dream. We demand apartheid, give us apartheid, it’s good for us, it’s much better than our situation of being refugees, of being uprooted from our villages and towns. So I sometimes, when people compare Palestinian situation with South Africa I feel pain – what’s wrong with apartheid? It’s much better than being expelled to Lebanon and suffering as refugees.
One undisputable truth that Mr. Zahalka mentioned earlier was that Palestinians also lie. This tirade confirms it. The Elders of Zion conspired in 1939 in the dark halls of Biltmore Hotel how to create their evil state. Then in 1948 they invaded the Holy Land and single-handedly kicked out several hundred thousand peace-loving Arabs, who until then were happily frolicking in the green pastures once graced by Old Mo’s flying horse.
As a pharmacist, Mr. Zahalka may need to prescribe to himself some memory loss drugs, because it seems he has forgotten plenty of facts. There has always been a strong Jewish presence in Palestine (as a geographical term, there has never been such a country). After the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of the Mandate, the Jewish immigration increased, improving the conditions in that mostly deserted land.
That caused increased immigration of Arabs to Palestine (often illegally, in the 1930s and 1940s) from neighbouring countries, although the land was allocated for a Jewish state. For example, the governor of Syria boasted in 1934 that in the space of a few months about 30,000 Arabs entered Palestine. That despite the fact that Transjordan was already carved out of the Mandate to be an Arab state, where no Jewish immigration was allowed.
The 1948 events didn’t come out of nowhere. Mr. Zahalka forgot that although the Jews accepted the unfair partition plan UN resolution, they were immediately attacked by all Arab neighbours with the explicit purpose to be pushed into the sea (an old Palestinian dream). The vast majority of Arabs left the country following the calls of the Arab leaders on the eve of their attack in May 1948. There are plenty of US, UK and Arab press reports and witness accounts, which document that.
Now they want to go back, it’s like saying: “OK, we tried to kill you, but it didn’t work. Can we return now?”
Instead of telling the truth, Mr. Zahalka, an Israeli citizen, wails like a Ramallah drama queen: “Give us apartheid! It’s good for us!”
He dedicated part of his lecture to attacking the Israeli laws, which supposedly are inherently unjust and cannot be applied better, they need to be abolished. An example was the citizenship law:
So-called citizenship law – it gives priority to Jews, everyone can get automatically citizenship and rights. There are many rights that a Jewish man in Brooklyn has more than me. The law was changed in year 2000 to say that Palestinian couples from both sides of the green line, from west bank and Gaza cannot live together. 5000 families are suffering from that, it’s preventing family unification, if you are a Jew, you can get citizenship immediately. it was said it was for security reasons and then Sharon said they want to hide behind security, but it is because of demographic considerations.
They say Palestinians have fake or fabricated marriages to get citizenship, it’s conspiracy against the state. I told them there are no such marriages in our community, no family would allow it.
Again, Mr. Zahalka fails to notice that Israel is the Jewish national state. Every national state has laws to protect itself and control who gets in. For example, Japan is the country of the Japanese – it is extremely difficult to immigrate there and if they accept you, you must act like a Japanese and obey all the laws. Nobody criticizes Japan about that. Only Israel is denied that right for a very simple reason – Arabs like Zahalka simply don’t want it to exist.
Flooding a country with illegal immigrants, who later change it, is one of the oldest tricks. But it looks like the Palestinians are heavenly angels incapable of committing immigration fraud.
Then he mentioned the so-called “cowboy law”, which lets you buy from the government land for a ranch, the law supposedly discriminates against the Bedouins. (Wasn’t the definition of Bedouin somebody, who moves from place to place and doesn’t own land?)
But the best material, which was unscripted, came during the Q&A session.
The first question addressed his complaints about the Israeli democracy: since he travels the world criticising Israel, is he harassed by the Israeli government?
Mr. Zahalka gave an evasive answer – he mentioned again the arrest and jail time when he was young. He also said that in 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2013 his party had problems with the election registration, because of doubts that it doesn’t recognize the Jewish state. However, he couldn’t give a single example of him being harassed by the government for his personal views.
Then a young revolutionary posed the following question:
“Given the scale of the occupation of the west bank since the Oslo accords, is the so-called two-state solution a dead letter now? And the only way to do it now is to fight for dismantling the Zionist state and establishing a secular and democratic state for all the people in the region.”
I would agree with you about the two-state solution is dying. It’s a very bad situation. The Arab league presented a very generous and unprecedented offer to the Israelis to recognize Israel if Israel withdraws from the West Bank and a Palestinian state is established and some rights of the Palestinian refugees are recognized and Israel said no. I see that the Israeli government is a very extreme government – no chance, there is no Israeli partner for the two state solution. If I look for example at the ruling party Likud, most of them are crazy people. The leaders of that party are people very, very extreme; all of the people who were less extreme were not elected. In this situation there is no chance – not for one step, no for two steps.
…We speak for one state, two states, the number of the states is not important, I do believe that in the long term there is no chance for democracy peace and freedom without ending the Zionist regime. That’s the key point. If Israelis want to believe in Zionism I don’t care, it’s just beliefs. It’s the question of political thought, of sovereignty. You cannot live in peace if one part is hegemonious over the other.
So he wants to get rid of the Zionist parties, which he said previously are the majority of the political parties, but didn’t say what will replace them.
We may get the answer when he replies to another question: since it is so difficult to operate in Knesset, why doesn’t he consider boycotting it.
Zahalka had a good reply, sprinkled with Marxism-Leninism:
It’s not black and white, but legitimate question. They try to prevent my party from running and if they do it frankly I won’t be disappointed. But if I don’t go I will give them another argument – we give him the opportunity and he doesn’t use it…
Lenin and Trotsky said something like this (I am not Leninist I used to be but they are right here) – if you don’t participate in the parliament, you must have a strong revolutionary process, which is very strong, very loud. When I come to the conclusion that I can go to a revolutionary phase, I will leave it. If there is something stronger outside of the parliament, I will leave it.
Let’s see – revolution means overthrowing the existing social order by force. What kind of a revolution is going Mr. Zahalka to join? Is it against the Israeli government? Whatever it is, it is bizarre to hear that from a person whose job is to work for his country.
He gave us a better idea about the nature of that revolution when another question about the Palestinian future came up:
Now there is also of course the struggle against occupation, the struggle against the Judaization of Jerusalem, I can tell how I evaluate the Israeli government – there are two things – they are extreme and weak. Mr. Netanyahu is a very extreme person, but he is weak. He is not like Sharon. If there is pressure against him, he surrenders to pressure.
And the pressure could come from Palestinian struggle against occupation and from international solidarity movement. This is the coalition. Here we saw something the two-state solution is dying and the one state is not born yet, but we also have a closed door, no negotiations. How can we get out of it? Diplomatic intifada is not enough, Mr. Abu Mazen went to the UN for recognition of Palestine, ok, but if there is now a Palestinian uprising it will be weak, the Palestinians and their allies came to the conclusion that there are no negotiations; the only way is to create pressure over Israel like the case of South Africa. I don’t need to teach you what to do, you know.
[Voices: Boycott, boycott]
I think economic and diplomatic and scientific pressure over Israel is the way. If there are two pressures – from the Palestinian uprising you know there is a consensus in the Palestinian leadership now that we support a Palestinian intifada. It has not come into practice, but as you know people carry buttons with intifada. I can give you my instinct that a third intifada is on its way. The situation is very complicated it’s not only the Palestinians also the international community which gives money to PA to keep stability, financing the occupation. That’s not helping the Palestinian people; it is preserving the stability and silence. And our duty as I said is to give voice to the silent suffering.
Is Mr. Zahalka really a member of the Israeli parliament?
He calls for an armed uprising against his own government, supported by the international lefties. And on top of that he wants to starve his own people on the West Bank by cutting their funds, thus revolutionizing them.
He sounds like a character from “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” whose body has been taken over by the vilest Hamas terrorist in Gaza. But most likely, that’s the real Jamal Zahalka speaking and we need to be concerned when a member of the Knesset thinks and talks like that.
The final nail in the coffin of the Jewish state came when he answered the last question, about the collaboration between Jews and Palestinians in political parties like Hadash:
I think that the morality of the progressive Jews is to support the Palestinian national movement, because it represents oppressed people and you can’t demand from people who are oppressed to support something like internationalism and chauvinism, like come to us not as a national person. There is a difference between the nationality of the oppressor and the nationality of the oppressed. And as we saw the Marxists and the communists in South Africa supported the ANC, they were part of ANC… We cooperate with Jewish progressive people but are not ready to give up our nationality to join Jewish supporters. It’s hard to explain because sometimes you use nationality to oppress people, other times to liberate them.
Did you hear it, “progressive Jews”? The Palestinians have their own revolutionary apartheid. If you want to waste your lives for them, you should play the second fiddle and do what they tell you. And it is not hard to imagine what will happen to you if they win.
There wasn’t a peep from the audience after that blatant rejection of “internationalism” and “multicultural brotherhood”. But again, the lefties are not the sharpest tool in the shed…
So that was it…
Imagine that a member of the Chinese parliament of Tibetan background says about China half of the things Zahalka said about Israel. He or she would never leave prison.
And the demonic Zionist kingdom of Israel lets Zahalka in and out of the country without any problems. Isn’t that the “dirty secret” of the Israeli democracy?
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