JERUSALEM — Arab-Israeli lawmaker Hanin Zoabi equated Israel’s actions against the Palestinians to the violence against Jews that led to the Holocaust during a speech commemorating Kristallnacht in Amsterdam.
“Kristallnacht didn’t suddenly fall from the sky, come out of nowhere, it was the result of a development over time. We can see a similar development happening in Israel over the last several years,” Zoabi said Sunday afternoon.
Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” was a pogrom over the night of November 9-10, 1938 against Austrian and German Jews. Many Holocaust historians view Kristallnacht as the opening shot in the Nazi-led campaign against the Jews.
Zoabi’s appearance was organized by Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion, a far-left group that is shunned by local Jews for its members’ perceived animosity toward Israel and sympathy for Hamas. About 200 people attended the event.
“During Kristallnacht, thousands of businesses and hundreds of synagogues were ruined and burned down by German brown shirts. Perhaps the majority of Germans did not approve, but they kept quiet,” she said.
“When in Israel two churches and tens of mosques are burned; and hundreds of Israeli supporters of Beitar shout ‘death to the Arabs’ after each soccer match; when a family is burned to death; when a 15-year-old boy is burned to death, the majority keeps quiet, although they are perhaps shocked,” she said equating the two.
“I identify with the victims,” she said of those killed in the Holocaust.
“We must not keep silent or we will be responsible,” she said to applause.
“Each day my people are killed, and they are calling me terrorist,” she continued, calling for a popular struggle. “Not a call for violence, but a call for freedom,” she said.
Zoabi was also heckled from the audience. “Stop stabbing Jews,” one audience member shouted. Her microphone was cut off for several seconds during her speech.
Last year, Zoabi was censured by the Knesset over statements she made encouraging Palestinian “popular resistance” and saying that the kidnappers of three Israeli teens were not terrorists. She also participated in the 2010 flotilla sail to Gaza organized by the Islamic IHH group in Turkey.