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‘I Am an Arab Muslim and a Proud Israeli Zionist’

September 9, 2015
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Sarah Zoabi has always believed that food brings people together. With a passion for all things edible and a natural talent for dishing up delectable delights, it was hardly surprising that the Arab mother from Nazareth would try her hand at becoming Israel’s next MasterChef. But it was not her culinary skills that launched her as a household name in Israel almost overnight. Zoabi captured the hearts and minds of the Jewish state when she introduced herself to the show’s judges—and the national audience.

“I am,” she said, “an Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist.”

The judges sat stunned for a moment. It is, after all, not every day one hears these four nouns grouped together in a personal introduction. But Zoabi explained, “I believe in the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, which is the State of Israel, the Holy Land.”

“I’m sure that the people who hear me will say, ‘What, have you lost your mind? How can you say you are a Zionist?’” she conceded. Yet Zoabi had an answer ready. “I want to say to all the Arabs [citizens] of Israel to wake up. Comparing us to other countries, to Arab countries, we live in paradise.”

Her hands busily preparing traditional pastries, Zoabi continued to tell the audience about her love for the Jewish state, saying that no other Arab country would offer her the freedoms she enjoys in Israel. “I don’t have another state and I don’t have another flag,” she said.

Moreover, Zoabi believes that she is not alone in her conviction that there is no “place better than Israel.” Given a choice, 100% of Israeli Arabs would prefer living in the Jewish state rather than under Palestinian rule, she asserted.

Source: Excerpts of article by Ilse Posselt, Bridges for Peace

Photo Credit: doom.ko.shutterstock.com

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