Israel Today reported yesterday that three family members of Nazareth teenager Mohammad Zoabi had been arrested after joining numerous others in threatening the youth for his public condemnation of the abduction of three Israeli yeshiva students.
It turns out that those three family members intended to abduct Mohammad himself, and spirit him away to the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin, and there harm him.
At a court hearing on Tuesday, the three confirmed that they had made such a threat, but insisted they didn’t actually mean to carry it out.
The 16-year-old Zoabi is a cousin to virulently anti-Israel Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi, and has taken much abuse for his own pro-Israel positions. As a result, he has decided to lay low for the time being. But Mohammad’s mother was all too willing to speak to the Israeli press in defense of her son.
“Maybe I taught my son to fight for justice, my son got up and had the courage to speak. In my life, I have never spoken like this. Maybe I felt it inside, but I never dared [to speak out]. He had the courage,” she told Tel Aviv Radio.
Sadly, Mohammad’s mother said he is now experiencing a rude awakening.
“He has hope that he can [make a difference], change things,” she said. “…He doesn’t know that he lives in a world that is so cruel that it won’t let him say what he wants and what he feels.”
Meanwhile, another Arab youth from the Lower Galilee town of Umm el-Fahm has also received a flood of death threats after he similarly took to Facebook in support of the abducted Jewish teens.
The 17-year-old, whose name was withheld for his security, told Yediot Ahronot that he posted on Facebook a picture of himself holding an Israeli flag and a sign reading #BringBackOurBoys.
The reactions were swift and hostile, most accusing the youth of being a traitor and threatening to murder him.
As a result, the outspoken Arab youth has stopped attending school. “I’m even afraid to leave the house,” he told the newspaper.
Asked about Mohammad’s cousin, MK Hanin Zoabi, the Umm el-Fahm youth stated emphatically that she does not represent the whole of Israeli Arab society, and that she is unfortunately doing all she can to “destroy relations between Arabs and Jews.”