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MK Hanin Zoabi's Family Speak Out: 'She Doesn't Represent Us'

Mohammed Zoabi is no longer alone; more members of extended Zoabi clan say they wish radical Arab MK Hanin Zoabi would stay silent.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 6/30/2014, 12:14 PM

"In it for herself": radical Arab MK Hanin Zoabi
"In it for herself": radical Arab MK Hanin Zoabi
Flash 90

Mohammed Zoabi, the 17-year-old who publicly disagreed with his relative MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) over her blatant anti-Israel stance, isn't the only Zoabi who has had enough of the Arab MK's Israel-hating antics.

On Monday, a representative of the Zoabi family told reporters that there were many people in the extended Zoabi clan who disagreed with Hanin when she said that the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped three Israeli teens weren't terrorists, justifying the abduction.

“The Zoabi clan numbers about 10,000, and we are not all Hanins,” said Nahal Zoabi, a cousin of the MK and the principal of a high school in Kfar Nin, near Afula. “I condemn the kidnapping, it was an immoral and wrong thing to do. I pray that they come home to their families safe and sound, and I would hope to be with the families when the boys come home.”

Nahal Zoabi said she was speaking for many members of the family, who she said strongly disagreed with comments by the MK.

Zoabi is infamous for provocative speeches, including one in which she said that Israel has “no right to a normal life” and a later address claiming that “the Israeli occupation” was behind the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria. Recently, she declared that Israel should "thank her" for allowing Jews to live in the Jewish State.

But Nahal Zoabi said that many members of the clan – including Ahmad Zoabi, considered one of the leaders of the extended family - want no part of their infamous relative. “We live in the State of Israel, there is a government, a Prime Minister, a Defense Minister. They are dealing with this, do we have to get ourselves involved?

“She is getting a great deal of publicity and press for saying these things, but she is serving only her own interests,” Nahal Zoabi said. “As far as my identity is concerned, I am a proud Arab Israeli, and I do not see a contradiction between the two.”

Nahal Zoabi's comments were similar to those of Mohammed Zoabi, who courageously made a viral video showing support for the kidnapped boys, a move which garnered him both Israeli commendation and several death threats from within his Nazareth hometown.

"I really believe that I'm a lucky Arab and a lucky human being and a lucky Middle Eastern[er] that I was born in this little tiny piece of land!” he said in the video.

Asked in an interview about Mohammed's comments, Hanin Zoabi called him “sleazy. He's distorted his identity."

It's not only Zoabi clan members who have had enough of Hanin: She was the impetus for introduction of a law being discussed in the Knesset to ban MKs convicted of incitement from serving in future Knessets. The amendment would also allow the Knesset to boot current MKs over incitement - not only before the next elections.

In addition, a series of legal actions have been initiated against Zoabi for the remarks, with several ministers and MKs arguing that the remarks are a breach of laws banning Knesset members from identifying with terrorists or inciting against Israel.