The following is a translation of a Facebook post MK Tammy Zandberg (pictured above right) published today:
Banning the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement is both ethically wrong and a political mistake.
If your response to this statement is to repeat the incitement from some leaders of the Islamic Movement – please don’t. These leaders have stood trial and served prison sentences for their incitement. This is how a democracy operates. If they commit new crimes, then the Israeli government and the judicial system have the means to prosecute them.
The reasoning and the timing of this decision does not result from new evidence of terrorism or new incitement. It stems entirely from political conditions made possible by the recent wave of terrorism in Paris. In other words, much like in shock doctrine, it is happening now because it is possible.
Criminalizing the Islamic Movement deprives Israeli-Palestinians of a movement that attends to an already underserved community. The Movement offers public and religious services that the state fails to provide.
This decision, which was taken by the political leadership and not the security establishment – will criminalize thousands of supporters – ordinary civilians – who take part in their activities, and have nothing to do with incitement or any sort of violence.
Therefore, relying on the emergency regulations to ban the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement is not merely a draconian and disproportionate measure, it is also disastrous for Arab society, which could suffer from a political crisis and a social vacuum instituted by state negligence.
But this is not an isolated measure. This extreme measure is yet another link in an intentional and well organized chain directed against Arabs in Israel, targeting their political representation, and delegitimizing their positions. It also adds to decades of institutionalized discrimination in the allocation and deprivation of state resources.
I would add two additional comments: First, the decision to ban the Movement was legally based in emergency regulations and thus was taken without legal or judicial proceedings. These emergency regulations are leftovers of the British mandatory rule and part of a colonial legal system. They should have been made extinct long ago and replaced by democratic legislation.
Second, the alleged “public consensus” supporting the decision is led by the extreme right-wing. Fearing being caught taking independent or democratic positions, the leaders of the “Center” joined this right-wing led consensus. These leaders do not even ponder the meaning of this act.
And you – the Centrists – When they outlaw Meretz, I assume that you will remain silent, and maybe even support it. But you’ll be next. Then there will be no one left to speak in your defense.