New Arab-Israeli diplomat ‘anti-Zionist,’ doesn’t know national anthem

Zoabi is “the architect of documents that describe Zionism as colonialism and Israel as a racist state,” said MK Amichai Chikli.

By World Israel News Staff

After Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced the appointment of Arab-Israeli MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi as Israel’s consul general in Shanghai, some celebrated the decision for its symbolism.

Zoabi, of the left-wing Meretz party, is the first Arab woman to be tasked with heading an Israeli diplomatic mission abroad.

Due to her new position, she will leave the Knesset and be replaced by the next politician on Meretz’s list, Kati Piasecki.

But many right-wing lawmakers are questioning the appointment of Zoabi to a senior diplomatic position when she has admitted publicly that she does not know the lyrics to Israel’s national anthem and reportedly holds anti-Zionist views.

The decision to send Zoabi to Shanghai also comes on the heels of reports concerning her votes on critical coalition issues, such as a bill to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the Israeli army.

Some analysts have theorized that the appointment is a way to preemptively stop Zoabi from compromising future votes and avoiding a potential coalition crisis down the road.

Speaking to Kan 11 Radio on Wednesday, Zoabi said that she had been given the post strictly due to her “diplomatic and personal abilities.”

But she admitted that she would not be able to sing along to Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah (The Hope), when played at the Chinese consulate because she is unfamiliar with the song’s text.

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She said she does not “know it by heart” due to the fact that the song’s lyrics reference the yearning soul of a Jew — which Zoabi said “excludes me.”

“What disrespect,” Miri Regev of the Likud party responded on Twitter.

“Now we’re appointing terror supporters to the consulate. How will she represent the State of Israel, as an occupation state? A general state of all her citizens? Or maybe the Palestinian nation state?”

Rebel Yamina MK Amichai Chikli wrote on Twitter that Zoabi was not suitable for the job because she “is the architect of documents that describe Zionism as colonialism and Israel as a racist state.”

Chikli, who notably broke party discipline to vote against the formation of the current government that includes Islamist and left-wing parties, quoted Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s late father, also a lawmaker, saying that “the demand of Arab public representatives to change Israel from a ‘Jewish state’ to a ‘state of all its citizens’ is a transparent attempt to empty Zionism of its content.”

“If we give up the essence of Israel as a Jewish state, we have nothing to look for here,” Chikli stated.