MK Hanin Zoabi stripped of parliamentary rights
|Thursday, July 15,2010 06:27|
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, The Israeli Knesset officially deprived Arab representative of the National Democratic Assembly, Hanin Zoabi, of some of her rights and privileges as a member of parliament, on the grounds of her participation in the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla.
Following a stormy Israeli parliamentary debate on Tuesday evening, 34 of the 50 present MPs agreed to strip Zoabi of her diplomatic passport, and deny her financial privileges provided by the state in the event of legal proceedings as well as other benefits when traveling abroad.
Zoabi said in conclusion of the vote to withdraw her parliamentary rights, “The decision sets a dangerous precedent in the state’s and its institutions’ dealings with Arab citizens and their elected leaders, and falls under the framework of political harassment of Arab leaders, in a prelude to de-legitimize them.”
Zoabi added, “I did not expect the contrary, because the state which imposes a criminal blockade on a million and a half Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and deprives them of their basic rights, it would be only natural for it to strip the parliamentary rights of one member of parliament, who represents her constituents and represents the voice of truth and justice.”
She continued, “The decision strengthens our determination to continue our struggle against the blockade, against the [Israeli] occupation, and against racism, and it will not deter us from continuing to represent our political stand, which we stand behind inside and outside of the Knesset.”