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July 25, 2014 12:40 pm
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Mother of Israeli Arab Golani Soldier: Those Who Don’t Accept This State Should Move to an Arab Country

avatar by Deborah Danan

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Anett Haskia, Israeli Arab activist for Israel, together with her son, a Golani soldier. Photo: Facebook

Anett Haskia, an Israeli Arab hair stylist and self-proclaimed social activist from the city of Acre, was interviewed on Israeli radio on Thursday and practically shouted at the interviewer when asked whether she identifies as a Palestinian.

“I want to ask you, Anett, many Israeli Arabs say ‘I am an Israeli-Arab, Palestinian.’ Do you also identify as a Palestinian?” host Gabi Gazit of 103.fm asked her. “Has vehalila,” Haskia answered, using a Hebrew phrase that roughly translates as “Good Heavens, no” and – incidentally – one that originates in the Babylonian Talmud.

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Haskia, a mother of three who claims to be a proud Israeli, runs an active Facebook page with hundreds of followers. An avid user, she posts pictures with Hebrew status updates encouraging Israel’s soldiers to “keep on fighting in Gaza until total victory.” Among her photos is one of her three children, two boys and a girl, all in IDF uniform.

The interview took place while her son, a Golani Brigade infantryman, was engaged in battle in Gaza. Golani, an IDF infantry brigade that became legendary for the courage and ferocity of its fighters, suffered heavy losses when 13 of its men were killed in battles in the neighborhood of Shujiaya last week.

“I have a son in Golani who was in the middle of a [military] course but didn’t want to leave his comrades alone so he gave up on completing the course and went there. He wanted to be with them, to protect his homeland,” she said.

With a worried tone in her voice, Anett added, “He is now there, in that inferno. I have not spoken with him for several days.”

Since Israeli Arabs are not sent slips to report at IDF recruiting centers, Anett said her son went voluntarily to the Tiberias recruitment center and requested to be enlisted.

Haskia then went on to berate the host for what she called Israel’s discrimination between Bedouin, Druze and Christian Arab citizens.

“My dear, the time has come to change your view,” she said. “What happens here is that Israel’s PR is not good. If they would let me speak out, they would know it’s not just Anett’s son, there are many Muslim soldiers in Golani, many Muslims volunteer – even in combat units,” she said.

Israeli Arab Haskia and her three children in IDF uniform. Photo: Facebook

“My son is an Israeli, the son of an Israeli mother. We are proud of being Israeli and we are proud of the state. It doesn’t mean there’s no discrimination and racism but that can change.”

Addressing herself in the third person, she continued, “Anett Haskia cannot bring about the revolution on her own, she needs to have the backing of the Jews of Israel, and the Arabs of Israel – the loyal ones. I mean those who call themselves ‘Arab Israeli’ and not Palestinians.”

“My son grew up in Israeli society. He is a son of the state of Israel, and he went and joined the army and today he is inside Gaza. And to all those who chant ‘Death to Arabs’ you should be chanting ‘Death to Terrorists’. I say to them: Calm down! You make us laugh, because many, many Arabs are now going into the depths of inferno.”

“You should call to change the constitution,” she continued. “You should legislate to strip citizenship from anyone who harms the security of the state, whether Arab or Jewish. Start respecting us and looking us in the eye.”

Anett stresses, “we are not residents of the territories, we are citizens of Israel.” In an apparent jab at Israeli Arabs who hold the Palestinian cause close to their hearts, she said “whoever does not want to accept the state of Israel is welcome to go to an Arab country.”

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  • citizenstat

    Good Lord! Will somebody with the authority second this lady’s nomination? If not, I SECOND ANETT HASKIA’S NOMINATION!!

  • There is a voice of reason and it matters not one iota whether that voice is Jewish or from an Arab Israeli. The world woke to the aftermath of The Holocaust and Israel emerged from the Ashes! In one way or the other, Jews have been paying for their Survival, and the creation of a State, ever since! For me, as an author on The Holocaust, I have ploughed through the garbage to get to a point where We could hold Jewish opinion with a moral regard. I see Arab Children Die and it is an awful tragedy that it is from Israeli Bombs. Don’t get me wrong. Israel has the right to defend itself. Jews should not be forced to live in fear. But just as an Israeli Child is precious so too is an Arab Child! Death to Innocence has emerged from The Holocaust and it is scathing of all those who will see any justification in the Death’s of Children. Mediation must work. The World must know it is a Democratic way, it is an Israeli way. While collateral damage is a risk in War, let Israel show fully the clandestine nature of Hamas’s use of the Arab shield and of the disguise of indignation!

  • frances twersky

    Thank you. Thank you for your son and thank you for your on target comments.

    • kemelman@bigpond.net.au

      You are truly a Woman of Valour…and so too are your family.
      I would have been honoured to have made his acquaitance

      You are a true citzen
      Leon
      Sydney
      Australia

    • Ben-Zion Yosef

      For the sake of clarity. I saw on Ms. Haskia’s facebook page that her sister is listed as “Shira Shir (Esti Les)”. I am wondering is Ms. Haskia is in fact a born Jewish woman, as it seems. Anyone?

  • Isabelle

    You are a beautiful human being. Thank you!

  • Golani Mom

    Anett Haskia, You are beautiful and wonderful, and I admire your courage. Your son is my son’s brigade. He speaks often of the Arab Israelis, the Druze, and Christians who are stellar soldiers, so loyal to Israel. I am proud you are an Israeli citizen. Israel is the better for having you and your family.

    However, I am cognizant of the the sad truth and reality that as a Jewish state, Israel cannot give complete equal rights to non-Jews. One reason is that the Arab Israeli fertility is much higher than the Jewish Israeli fertility, and hence, would eventually become the majority population. This is why there must be two peaceful states side by side. So many Israeli Arabs love living in democratic Israel, and it would be wonderful if there was another democratic and free state that shared open, peaceful borders with Israel. Both states would thrive in every way. It would be fantastic to have a democratic Muslim-Arab state in the region, but with whom to negotiate to make this happen? Hamas has no desire to have a democratic society. Women’s rights, ha! It is unlikely that Fatah could accomplish this either. Democracy is not on the agenda for them. So many issues. However, it can be done. It may take a few generations to smooth it all over but Time and Will are soothing diplomats. I wish there were more like you! Let women rule!

    • Rachel

      I think you have been given inaccurate information. In comparison to all the non-Jewish Israelis, our birth rate are actual rising. Our population growth is set to exceed theirs if things keep moving as they are. The whole myth that they are outbreeding us is propaganda to convince us that it would be not viable for us to retain the entire Jewish state as we would soon be outnumbered.

      There would be absolutely no problem with giving complete equal rights to non-Jews. And as far as I’m concerned we should kick out every citizen, be they non Jewish or Jewish, who calls for the destruction of the Israel. Every one who supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, who serves in the military or does national service, should live here in peace and equality.

    • June Daniels

      The statistics to which you refer regarding Jewish and Arab birth rates has been debunked. Current statistics indicate quite the opposite. The Jewish birth rate is increasing while that of the Arab communities is decreasing. I suggest you Google the current information.

    • Jay Bergen

      I hope to G-d that you are not suggesting – even only slightly – that this incredible family doesn’t belong in Israel as full and complete citizens regardless of their birth rate. I doubt that even my grand children’s children will live to see an Israel that is not surrounded by countries bent on its destruction, but even if they do, Israel would be lucky to have more families like this one – even millions of them.
      Whatever they may call him, this family worships the very same G-d we do and cherishes the blessings of liberty at least as much as we do.

      • Mark Zucker

        I fully agree with your remarks. Israel must strive for justice and full equality for all its citizens.

    • Ben

      Your first paragraph was most appropriate, why would you even bother to post the second one here? This woman and her children are more a part of the state of Israel than those Haredim who refuse to serve in the IDF. Those Arabs who Identify as Israeli Arab and wish to integrate either with national service or IDF belong here, those who prefer to identify as Palestinians can go to a Palestinian state. Anyone who screams death to Arabs should be sent to Gaza…

  • art

    a Woman of Valor. She should be a spokes person for Israel. She is wiser and more articulate then most. Those Arabs who support Israel should be respected and appreciated. Those Jews who work to undermine Israel should be punished.

  • zadimel

    If I could,I would vote for Anett Haskia to be Israel’s representative at the UN, Israeli ambassadress to the USA or the Nobel Peace Prize recipient. We need more people like her in this world. May she have a long happy and satisfying life and her presence, a major influence for peace.

  • YoelNitzarim

    Anett, you have my total respect as fellow Israeli citizen. I honestly want to commend you for speaking up at this critical time in Israeli history, Of course, your son should also be commended and praised for his willingness to serve in Tzahal. You should consider running for a Knesset seat to represent the Israeli-Arab population in a fair, equitable, and respectable manner. There are too many representatives of the Israeli-Arab population in the Knesset that neither belong there because of their behavior in the Knesset building itself nor because of their self-loathing, self-abnegating behavior in the community. Too many Israeli-Arab members of the Knesset consider themselves Palestinian!

  • Natalie

    Brava to you Anett Haskia, for understanding the reality of Israel, and for understanding that with an Israeli Arab identity, you can work toward the real goal, of full integration into Israeli society. Your children are already working toward that goal, since many important relationships are built during the days of military service. And I agree with you — those who don’t wish to accept Israeli Arab identity, but would rather be Palestinian, can go live there — whether in the West Bank, or Gaza or Syria, which starved thousands of Palestinians just because of who they were. If you were lucky enough to have been born in Israel, then you are right that you need to support the state that gives you more freedom than any other place in the Arab world. Kol Hakavod.

  • Lucus

    Make her the next President of Israel please!!!!!!!!

  • Joy

    Excellent comment, YJ – In war, all things are necessary and possible. I just had to laugh in the face of a well-meaning, but naive, progressive friend who still argues the failed/irrelevant case for “proportionate” response. Not if one is not intent on national suicide!

  • Alexi

    That actually brought a tear to my eye.

    May your sons stay safe, and be victorious, and may you remain strong and courageous.

    Am Yisrael Chai.

  • vivarto

    The problem with Muhammedans is that their “religion” is antisemitic. Their prophet was a Jew hater.
    Nothing against people born to Arab, Ethiopian, German or Russian parents.
    The problem is Muhemmedanism, Nazism and other forms of antisemitism, not ethnicity or race.

    • Shamgar

      No Muslims are not Nazis. Isalmism is an interpretation of the Muslim faith that is almost identical to Nazism. But not all Muslims (at all)follow an Islamist interpretation of their faith. Case in point above. And it is not helpful to the fight against Islamism to conflate them. Just like it is not helpful to pretend it isn’t there either of course.

  • Jay

    Don’t expect CNN and other hostile News Organizations to highlight this brave woman and her family anytime soon. These organizations only believe in vilifying Israel.

    God Bless you Anett and God Bless your sons. May he keep you safe.

    • Raymond

      And don’t forget. God bless her daughter too, who is in the IDF.

  • I would love to meet you personally and shake your
    hand. I would love to help you in your mission.
    You’re a great lady, a proud mother and certainly a shining star of Israel. Run for the Knesset. You have
    courage and guts and may
    God protect you and your family. I didn’t think people of your caliber lived in Israel.

    • I quite agree with you – she is absolutely right and someone who loves her country.

  • Please note – the poll cited in The Tower – see above appeared on May 19 2014 before the outbreak of the violence.

  • Just before the outbreak of violence – a new poll showed a significant increase in Israeli-Arab acceptance of Israel.

    Israeli Arabs’ Acceptance of Israel Is Increasing Bookmark and Share

    clear

    From TheTower.org:

    An Israeli news station has reported this morning on a poll conducted by Professor Sammy Smooha of Haifa University showing that the acceptance of Israel by Israeli Arabs increased markedly between 2012 and 2013.

    Channel 10/Nana reported (Hebrew) that the poll’s surprising results bucked conventional wisdom:

    The research shows that between 2012 and 2013 there was an increase in the percentage of Israeli Arabs recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, and Israel’s right to maintain a Jewish majority. Similarly, the percentage of Arabs who define themselves as “Israeli Arabs” without a Palestinian identity has increased.

    Among the specific results reported were that the percentage of Israeli Arabs who accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state rose to 52.8% from 47.4% the year before. There was a more pronounced rise in the percentage of Israeli Arabs who believe that Israel can exist as a Jewish majority state to 43.1% up from 29.6% a year earlier. The number of Israeli-Arabs who accept their identity as such without identifying as Palestinians increased from 32.5% in 2012 to 42.5% in 2013. In 2013, 63.5% of Israeli Arabs consider Israel to be a good place to live up from 58.5% in 2012.

    I don’t think this is so surprising. Israeli Arabs have relatives in the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and they understand very well that it is characterized by nepotic corruption, arbitrary police power and gangsterism.

    But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that these Arabs are Zionists. Many of them are well-educated professionals who are pragmatic in their politics, but when there are conflicts, like the intifadas, Operation Cast Lead (2008-9) or the almost-war with Hamas that happened in 2012, attitudes become more nationalistic.

    In fact, the results of the survey quoted could have more to do with the bad relations in 2012 than the better ones of 2013.

    There are also some hard-core supporters of Hamas or other anti-Israel organizations among the Arab citizens of Israel. And it seems that the rhetoric from Arab members of the Knesset has not moderated very much.

    On the other hand, there are positive trends, like the glimmer of understanding on the part of some Christian Arabs that they are much better off aligning with their Jewish neighbors than their Muslim Arab ones. They can see how badly Islamists — in Egypt, Syria and Gaza for example — have treated Christians. Even under the secular PLO, the Christian population of the territories has declined sharply.

    Good relations between Israeli Jews and the 20% of Israel’s citizens who are Arabs are critical for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state. But how do we define ‘good relations’?

    Arab residents face a choice — should they continue to live as a national minority in Israel (or go to another Western country), where they will have civil rights, a great deal of freedom, and economic opportunity; or should they move to an Arab country (even Gaza or the PA) where they would be part of the cultural majority but lack rights, freedom and opportunity?

    This is up to them. The one option that must be closed to them is to live in Israel and insist on a specifically ‘Palestinian’ national identity that includes — as it must — the commitment to regain ‘Palestine’ (which, in fact, they never had) from the Jews.

    Meir Kahane believed that coexistence on the same land was simply impossible. But Jabotinsky had a different view:

    As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall. Not till then will they drop their extremist leaders, whose watchword is “Never!”

    And the leadership will pass to the moderate groups, who will approach us with a proposal that we should both agree to mutual concessions. Then we may expect them to discuss honestly practical questions, such as a guarantee against Arab displacement, or equal rights for Arab citizen, or Arab national integrity.

    And when that happens, I am convinced that we Jews will be found ready to give them satisfactory guarantees, so that both peoples can live together in peace, like good neighbours.

    See also my new book – Modern Hebrew, The Past and future of a Revitalized Language (McFarland, July 2014)

  • Bette

    SHE IS ONE FABULOUS LADY AND ULTIMATELY CORRECT. IF THINGS WOULD EVER SETTLE DOWN IN ISRAEL, I’M SURE A LOT OF, what she considers discrimination would subside. Israelis have to constantly be on the lookout for enemies without and within ergo so much of what appears to be discriminator goes on. AGAIN, I truly admire her courage and love for her country.

  • Tone Lechtzier

    I agree with you Haskia. May Hashem bless you and enable your wisdom in Israel.

  • Debra Michels

    Thank you so much, Algemeiner, for this article! I hope that the journalist who interviewed her – or anyone else who lives in Israel – takes her advice and makes the distinctions she suggests – between Arabs who live in Israel but are on the Palestinians’ side, and those who do not want to destroy Israel. I like hearing criticism from someone like her, who speaks the truth with love – and in ways that are constructive and reflect faith in Israel’s ideals and in her citizens, who want to live up to those ideals. What a huge difference, between her and proponents of BDS or others who call Israel “an apartheid state”! How much easier it is, to listen to someone like her, encouraging Israel – and the world – to do better, and others, whose criticism is destructive, frightening, hurtful, unloving!

  • g

    You go, girl!

  • The fact that Hamas chose to challenge an adversary with disproportionate military capability indicates that the decision was either irrational or some type of collective death wish; in either instance, the Palestinians, and the world at large, cannot now expect Israel not to use every means possible to protect its citizenry from both immediate and future assaults by genocidal terrorists who wish to murder Jews and destroy the Jewish state. No nation is required to enter a suicide pact with its enemies, and no nation can be expected to wait until enemy rockets successfully reach an apartment building or school, forcing Israel to play, “Russian roulette with its children.”

    Would you permit a fifth column within your own country.
    Why would you expect Israel to acquiesce to an Arab-Palestinian State within its boundaries.

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