(JTA) – An Arab-Israeli Knesset member equated Israel’s actions against the Palestinians to the violence against Jews that led to the Holocaust at a speech commemorating Kristallnacht in Amsterdam.
“Kristallnacht didn’t suddenly fall from the sky, come out of nowhere, it was the result of a development over time,” Hanin Zoabi of the Joint Arab List said Sunday afternoon. “We can see a similar development happening in Israel over the last several years.”
Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” was a pogrom over the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938 against Austrian and German Jews. Many Holocaust historians view Kristallnacht as the opening shot in the Nazi-led campaign against the Jews.
Zoabi’s appearance was organized by Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion, a far-left group that is shunned by local Jews for its members’ perceived animosity toward Israel and sympathy for Hamas. About 200 people attended the event.
“During Kristallnacht, thousands of businesses and hundreds of synagogues were ruined and burned down by German brown shirts. Perhaps the majority of Germans did not approve, but they kept quiet,” she said.
Later, Zoabi said, “I identify with the victims. We must not keep silent or we will be responsible.” The audience applauded.
The lawmaker called for a popular struggle.
“Not a call for violence, but a call for freedom,” she said.
Zoabi was also heckled from the audience. “Stop stabbing Jews,” one audience member shouted. Her microphone was cut off for several seconds during her speech.
Last year, Zoabi was censured by the Knesset over statements she made encouraging Palestinian “popular resistance” and saying that the kidnappers of three Israeli teens were not terrorists. She also participated in the 2010 flotilla sail to Gaza organized by the Islamic IHH group in Turkey.