NEW DELHI: Israel, which for long, has worn the disguise of being a so-called democratic state is intrinsically carrying out the political cleansing of Israeli Arabs within its boundaries. The state’s policies are never questioned as they suspend arrest or judge Israeli Arabs, snatching away their right of dignified life.

In a recent case, Israeli court has sentenced the Arab-Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi to six months suspended sentence for three years, in addition to NIS3,000 ($800) fine.

Early in July 2014, a few days after the killing of Mohammed Abu-Khdeir, Zoabi made what were seen as offensive remarks to Arab policemen in the Nazareth courthouse, where they were attending remand extension hearings for riot suspects. The statements included, “We should wash the floor with those who collaborate against their own people,” and “They should fear the shabab [young rioters]” and “We should spit in their faces.”

Explaining the state’s request to impose a suspended sentence, prosecutor Raz Walter said, “We are not talking about a slip of the tongue during an argument or a curse spit into the air, but a series of harsh sentences, like a self-contained speech that included a series of rude comments to policemen about their activities.” He added that a punishment was important “to deter others from using rude words against public servants,” noting that Zoabi is an elected official with influence over a wide public.

According to the charge, on July 6, 2014, Zoabi was present during remand extension hearings at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court for two suspects arrested on the same background.

Commenting on the sentence, Zoabi said: “This is an unnecessary decision, this entire trial is unnecessary. I am fighting against the oppression of the [Israeli] regime. We are fighting against a racist policy, we are not fighting against people.”

Zoabi added she had been protesting the fact that the police were persecuting demonstrators and political activists, and she would continue to protest this.

“It’s not just my right, it’s my obligation,” she said. “The Israel Police and the judicial system conduct themselves one way toward the Jewish public and a different way toward Arabs.”

Last week, Zoabi and the other Arab MKs Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas met with families of Palestinian victims killed by the Israeli occupation forces. Many Israelis in the public and political spheres considered this a kind of incitement and; thus, they called to revoke their immunity.

Calling fo

r the Israeli occupation to return the bodies of the Palestinian victims killed by the Israeli occupation forces, Zoabi said on Sunday that “Bodies are bodies and need to be returned to the families. It does not matter if it is the body of a Jew or an Arab.”

“There are bodies held by Israel for four months now,” she bemoaned. “We’ve spoke to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and confronted him. We hope he’ll meet our demands.”

(The writer is a doctoral student at JNU, New Delhi)