Member of the Knesset for Balad (National Democratic Assembly) talked in Bethlehem on Monday. She elaborated freely about vision within her party, her struggle for justice and how she represents Palestinians, more than just Arab Israelis.
Zoubi is an Arabic Member of Parliament (MP) and elected by the Israeli Arabs. Nevertheless, she openly admits that she represents the Palestinian people, more than the Arab Israelis.
In an intense two hour talk she explained how the PA is not representing the Palestinian people enough. She refers to the house demolitions in East-Jerusalem, the increase in settlements in the last year and the separation wall. The PA and the PLO have not been able to negotiate strongly enough. As an elected MP, she is trying to push these issues on the agenda of the Knesset.
Zoubi continues by expressing her disappointment in the international community. “They needed the flotilla to realize what Israeli's governmental policies are and how they are not democratic. We have been shouting that for 60 years”.
Zoubi herself participated in the flotilla and got some of her parliamentary rights taken away because of this. The Knesset voted to withdraw her diplomatic passport, restrict her freedom to travel beyond Israel and denied her the costs of her legal proceedings.
This is against any democratic privilege a Member of Parliament should enjoy in a real democracy. Zoubi only hopes it is worth something, pushing the international community to understanding the true nature of the conflict in the Palestinian region.
When the topic of progress arrived, she talked freely of the internal reflection her party is making right now. Officially they are battling for a two-state solution with East-Jerusalem as a capital, the dismantlement of the settlements and a just solution for the Palestinian refugees.
However, Zoubi continued, the policies of the government of Israel are blocking many, many hopes for a two solution. Not only are the two regions already economically stuck to each other, the settlements are also well-built and equipped villages.
Dismantling them would mean political suicide for any Israeli politician, peace-wanting or not, so they will be hard to move. One is not to forget about the final status of Jerusalem as well.
These are all obstacles to a two-state solution. Therefore, her party is researching on a binational one-state solution. She does not exclude a serious party-wide reflection during the next party congress about such a one-state solution.
Under academia, Kibbutz members and other (international) politicians, the idea of a secular one-state solution based on individual human rights is gaining force.