Firebrand Arab MK to talk racism at Dutch Holocaust event

Hanin Zoabi to speak at November 8 event marking Kristallnacht; she’s under investigation for calling for a Palestinian uprising

Joint (Arab) List MK Hanin Zoabi in the Israeli Supreme Court on February 17, 2015. (David Vaaknin/POOL/FLASH90)
Joint (Arab) List MK Hanin Zoabi in the Israeli Supreme Court on February 17, 2015. (David Vaaknin/POOL/FLASH90)

Hanin Zoabi, an Arab-Israeli lawmaker who recently called for a Palestinian uprising, is scheduled to speak about racism in Israel at a Holocaust commemoration event in the Dutch capital.

The November 8 event in Amsterdam is being 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. Zoabi’s attendance at the event was announced last week.

Zoabi currently is under investigation in Israel for saying in an interview for a Hamas publication, “Hundreds of worshipers should go up to Al-Aqsa to confront an Israeli conspiracy there. Thousands of our people’s ascents there would turn these events into a real intifada.” She later said her words were “not a call to amplify the attacks.”

The Dutch group that invited her wrote on its Facebook page that in previous years it “paid attention to racism in the world (Germany, Austria, Greece) but not in Israel. Given recent events, discussing racism in Israel is unavoidable.” Zoabi will speak on “Israeli discrimination against Palestinians,” the text read.

The event where Zoabi will speak is in commemoration of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass” pogrom in 1938 against Austrian and German Jews. Many Holocaust historians view Kristallnacht as the opening shot in the Nazi-led campaign against the Jews.

Kristallnacht destruction in Magdeburg, Germany, November 1938 (photo credit: German Federal Archive/Wikipedia Commons)
Kristallnacht destruction in Magdeburg, Germany, November 1938. (German Federal Archive/Wikipedia Commons)

The far-left group, previously known as NBK, has been commemorating Kristallnacht since 1992, often with the Jewish community. But in 2010, the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands broke its ties with NBK because of the group’s perceived attempt to tie the Holocaust with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

NBK activist Miriyam Aouragh in 2004 organized a commemoration service in Amsterdam for Ahmed Yassin, a Hamas leader whom Israel killed that year. In 2009, NBK’s Kristallnacht commemoration featured a speech by Yassin Elforkani, an imam who in 2009 said that Jews in Damascus used blood to make matzah.

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