Haneen Zoabi

(Palestinian citizen of Israel, political figure) Zoabi serves in the Israeli Knesset as a member of the Balad party. She is the first Palestinian woman to serve in the Knesset as part of an Arab party’s list. Zoabi has spoken strongly against racism in Israel, including the very concept of a Jewish state, and she has spoken out in support of a one-state solution, in which Israelis and Palestinians would enjoy equal rights. Zoabi participated in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, and was arrested briefly after her boat was boarded by Israeli commandos who killed nine of the activists aboard. The day after, during a speech she made at the Knesset, she was interrupted, called a traitor, and shouted down multiple times. She received death threats after the speech. There have been numerous attempts to strip Zoabi of her parliamentary immunity and of her Israeli citizenship, under the claim that her participation in the flotilla amounted to treason. Three of her parliamentary privileges were stripped. Israel’s Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify Zoabi in both the 2013 and 2015 elections, a decision which was overturned both times by the Israeli High Court. Zoabi was suspended from parliamentary debates for six months following comments she made about the June 2014 kidnappings of three Israeli youth, who were subsequently discovered to have been murdered. See "The Knesset v. Zoabi: Israeli Arab MK's politics put on trial," Mairav Zonszein, +972mag, Dec 9, 2014; and "Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zoabi disqualified from re-election," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, Dec 19, 2012.

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