Rhonda, USA

January 14, 2013

Question 1 – Maya, I find myself once again on this site needing to talk about Israel’s democracy. I’ve been following the news regarding whether Hanin Zoabi was going to be deemed eligible to run for the Knesset, then the decision of the Central Election Committee and finally, the ruling of the Supreme Court. In 2011, I had an extensive exchange with Jonah about democracy and Israel. Those were some challenging exchanges for me. More than once I contradicted myself about fundamental principles of democracy. At the time, I gave a lot of thought to what he wrote and benefited from his perspectives. However, recently the debate about whether Zoabi should have been allowed to run again for the Knesset has stirred up my original internal conflicts. I live in the United States and I value the core principles of democracy. What is your take on whether she should be considered a traitor based upon her being on the Marmara and other protests in which arms were taken up against Israeli soldiers? I want to be clear- I don’t mean a citizen protesting against the government. I mean being in a situation where arms were taken up against Israeli soldiers and certainly in the case of the flotilla, harm befell the soldiers. What constitutes a charge of treason in Israel? What do you think about the ruling of the Supreme Court? I apologize for all the questions I’ve been throwing at everyone during the past few weeks. I know it’s been a lot and after this, I’ll try to give everyone some breathing room. There just has been so much significant news from the Middle East. Thank you. Rhonda

Hey Rhonda,

Sorry for the delay. Right now is a very hectic time for me and other university students all over Israel because of finals. I want to answer a few of your questions as best I can.

First of all, you asked me what constitutes treason in Israel.  I found an article that talks about what is treason in Israel. I just want to state that I don’t fully agree with this article, it is very right winged, but it does show what constitutes treason. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/6884#.UPM7dbuW1eQ

According to the article, someone who assists the enemy in war against Israel is committing treason, but does so only when the law states that the enemy is a terrorist organization. The case with the Marmara did involve planning of many terrorist groups but was looked at as civilians fighting soldiers, instead of terrorists against soldiers. The planners of the Marmara were very smart when they had women, children and elderly civilians board the Marmara because then it made it look like a civilian ship. Also, Zoabi was very smart by refraining from violence on the Marmara. By doing this she did not actually commit treason. For this reason, I don’t think that they committed Zoabi with treason, even though in my opinion they should have definitely done so. Also, I found an amazing article that shows what the Supreme Court ruling decided and why. The link is: http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=299195.

I hope I was able to help you and show you some of my insight! Soon we will have much to talk about with the upcoming elections.

Wish you the best and we’ll talk soon.

Maya 

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