Hanin Zuabi rushed out of the Knesset as soon as she had been sworn in as an MK – in order to avoid standing for the Israeli national anthem,Hatikvah. Quite a contrast to the behaviour of Jewish members of Parliament in Iraq, for instance – Zvi Gabay remarks in Haaretz.
Beyond the lack of elementary politeness, one must ask: Why did
Zuabi swear loyalty to the Israeli Knesset if she feels that way? Was it
because the Knesset is the one that pays her salary or because she
wants to exploit the democracy of the State of Israel, enjoy freedom of
expression and movement to flout its authority and impress her
In light of her provocative behavior, I looked at how the Jewish
members of parliament behaved during the first days of Iraq’s
independence. Even though the ancestors of the Jewish MPs had settled in
Iraq long before the Arabs conquered it, they respected Iraq’s laws,
the rules of the ceremony and etiquette, including standing while the
Iraqi national anthem was played. I behaved the same way when I served
as Israel’s representative in Egypt while the Egyptian national anthem
was played. That is how Jews who live in various countries behave and
how cultured people behave all over the world, whether the words of the
national anthem speak to them or not.
If Zuabi is disgusted with Israel because it is a Jewish state, she is
free – unlike the Jews who lived in Arab countries – to leave and live
in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya or any other Arab country. There, she
will have as much freedom and as many rights as her heart desires. It
may also be hoped that her living conditions will be better than they
are in Israel and that she will not be discriminated against as she
claims she is here.
There is nothing coincidental about Zuabi’s provocative behavior.
Whether by supporting the terrorists on the Mavi Marmara or refusing to
respect the symbols of the state, she encourages the radicals to behave
as she does. Most of Israel’s Arab citizens live very well compared to
their brothers in Arab countries.
Their living conditions can and should be improved. But there is no
place for behaving rudely, as Zuabi did, to correct historic