A Muslim member of Israel’s Knesset, the outspoken and controversial Hanin Zoabi, is facing possible legal action after she issued a thinly-veiled threat against a Christian representative addressing the Knesset’s Labor, Welfare and Health Committee last week.
Shadi Haloul, spokesman for the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum that encourages young local Christians to join the Israeli army and integrate with Jewish society, was invited by the committee to speak on behalf of the growing number of Christians who want to be recognized as a minority separate from the Arabs.
As Haloul reached the end of his presentation, Zoabi lashed out, calling the Christian a “coward” and daring him to take his message to the streets of Nazareth, where local Muslims and unsympathetic Christians would “give you the proper response.”
This week, the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum’s lawyer, Uri Shenhar, filed a request with the Attorney General to remove Zoabi’s parliamentary immunity so she can be held accountable for her dangerous remarks.
The request filed by Mr. Shenhar argued that while Zoabi might not have directly threatened Mr. Haloul, her remarks could very easily incite very real violence against him and other Christians who hold similar views.
Members of the forum cited by Ma’ariv noted that others have been indicted for “incitement” for issuing threats that by comparison were far more innocent than what Zoabi said to Haloul.
Many Israeli Christians and those who support them view Zoabi’s threat as just another piece in the effort to keep local Christians living under fear, and therefore subservient to the Muslim agenda.
But, as the submitted legal request concluded, that “prison of fear” has now been broken, and Israel will continue to see more and more Christians joining the army, building strong relationships with the Jewish community, and becoming increasingly loyal and productive citizens of the State of Israel.
In the meantime, there is a very real threat of violence against Haloul and others involved in this movement, and prayers for their safety and wellbeing are very much in order.