Israel's next “Master Chef” could be an Arab woman from the Galilee – a self-declared Zionist, and a relative of infamous Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, who participated in the 2010 flotilla attack, in which terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara attempted to kill IDF soldiers.
Sara Zoabi hoped to impress the judges at the auditions for the new season of Master Chef, in which cooks compete to be named Israel's top chef.
More than just an honorary title, the Master Chef crown brings with it numerous financial benefits, including product endorsements and customers at restaurants and food companies they work with.
Describing herself to the judges, Zoabi said she was “an Arab, a Muslim, an Israeli, and a Zionist,” not necessarily in that order. “I may get killed for saying this, but I truly believe that we as Arabs have no better place than Israel.”
The inspiration for her possibly-fatal honesty, she said, came from her son Mohammed – who last year “came out” as a Zionist himself.
Last year, Zoabi received much media attention after he posted a video on Facebook expressing his concern for the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Hamas right before Operation Protective Edge.
Mohammed Zoabi and a friend, Yihya Mahmeed, uploaded videos and photos of themselves, with a large Israeli flag and a sign saying "#Bring Back Our Boys."
The two high school students eventually had to go into hiding; they immediately began receiving death threats, and several of Zoabi's relatives were arrested on suspicion of planning to abduct him to Samaria.
Earlier this year, Mohammed Zoabi gave an impassioned speech of support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a Likud rally during the recent Israeli election campaign.
MK Zoabi, known for her anti-Zionist views, called her nephew a “stupid boy." In response, Mohammed said “we have one Israeli parliament and the Arab world has 22 Arab parliaments. So, if you are not an Israeli and you don't represent us as Israelis, you are more than invited to get the hell out of here."
After speaking with the Master Chef judges, Sara Zoabi presented her dishes – to the gastronomic, and emotional, delight of the judges, who told her that she was “bold and brave by expressing her connection to her nation through her food, and that is not afraid to speak her mind.”