Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Knesset revokes priviliges from Arab member Hanin Zoabi due to her participation in Gaza flotilla

A fake Iranian passport for Hanin Zoabi (Picture Haaretz)

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset on Tuesday revoked privileges from MK Hanin Zoabi, due to her participation in the Gaza aid flotilla in May. With a vote of  34 against 16 MKs it voted in favor of invalidating her diplomatic passport and revoking her right to receive funding for legal expenses.
Zoabi, a member of the Arab Balad Party, spoke at a hearing before the vote and said the Knesset's conduct proved that ther was no democracy in Israel. She went on to say that, far from revoking her rights, the other MKs should be protecting them. "You should have protected me from the racism against me because of my opinions," she said.
"A debate such as this cannot be held in a proper fashion, and it would shame any other parliament in the world," said the Arab MK. "You can't claim that democracy exists here. I am an MK and I have the right, even the duty, to fight for my positions.I am an MK from Balad, which means I oppose the occupation and the blockade. Not only do I represent the opinions of my people, I represent those of other Arab MKs. I also represent a global consensus."

MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu), who had previously attacked Zoabi on the stand, now presented her with an Iranian passport bearing her picture. She was thereafter removed from the plenum. But before she left Michaeli told Zoabi, "Most of the Arabs in Israel are smart enough and faithful enough to the state to open their eyes after your incitement. You do not represent them. I take your loyalty to Iran seriously and suggest that you appeal to Ahmadinejad for citizenship and a diplomatic Iranian passport. In the meantime allow me to supply you with a temporary passport that will certainly benefit you in your incitement tours, because we will be revoking your Israeli passport tonight."

MK Shai Hermesh (Kadima) told the Knesset why it would be wrong to push Zoabi out of  parliament. He quoted David Ben Gurion who once preferred to add Moshe Dayan to his cohorts. "I prefer to have him pissing out from my tent, rather than from outside in. Pushing Zoabi out from the Knesset would be a mistake. The damage she will do as a movement outside parliament that can accuse Israel of apartheid is inestimably greater than the damage she can do from inside," according to Hermesh.

{I'd like to add a remark concerning Geert Wilders, our Dutch member of parliament who is an great fan of Israel. If the Dutch parliament would have acted towards him like the Israeli one at present is behaving  towards Zoabi, he would have been  a new immigrant in Australia by now.}

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