Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Democracy" crumbles - Zoabi is disqualified

I have mentioned Hanin Zoabi before, once after seeing her speak at the University of Chicago and more recently when she was part of a discussion at a cafe in Tel Aviv. She doesn't hesitate to speak the truth to power - power being the Israeli Knesset of which she has been a member and in which she was the target of an attempted assault by another member.

But now, according to an article in The Guardian newspaper, she is being disqualified from running again for her Knesset seat.

It has been claimed that Voltaire said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", but whoever actually said it expressed the foundation of democracy, a system which Israel claims to follow but which it has never possessed. Democracy is not the representation of a select group, but of all who live under it. Israelis who live in settlements are still full Israeli citizens and a powerful force in the Knesset without living in Israel. The Palestinians who are displaced to provide room for the settlers are unrepresented. Zoabi represented the small and deliberately limited number of Arab Israelis who are kept politically powerless without hope of gaining enough seats to have a say in what happens to them. So goes the decline of the state as another voice of dissent is now removed from office.

The good in this is that another part of the makeup crumbles away from the benign face that Israel wants the world to see. Extremism continues its relentless rise and with it the end of the state for only the select comes closer. Colonialism is an anachronism and with its end in Israel it will follow other unmourned things such as slavery into history.

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