Jewish 100, 2014: Anett Haskia – Innovation and Activism
Hair stylist and political activist
Last year, Anett Haskia, a Muslim Arab hair stylist from the northern city of Acre, rudely broke the mold of Arab communal politics in Israel by openly declaring on Israeli radio that her son was serving in Gaza with the elite Golani Brigade. And not just her son; “there are many Muslim soldiers in Golani, many Muslims volunteer – even in combat units,” she said. For Haskia, there is no better path to the full integration of the Arab community than serving in the IDF. “We are proud of being Israeli and we are proud of the state,” she said. “It doesn’t mean there’s no discrimination and racism but that can change.” To those Jewish extremists who chant “Death to the Arabs,” Haskia had one message: “Calm down! You make us laugh, because many, many Arabs are now going into the depths of the inferno [in Gaza.]” All three of Haskia’s children – two sons and one daughter – have served with the IDF, and her goal now is to ensure that any Arab who wants to participate in the defense of Israel faces no obstacles in doing so.