Knesset Strips Palestinian MK of Parliamentary Privileges

34 Knesset members voted to strip MK Haneen Zoabi of her privileges

Every day seems to bring yet a new outrage against free speech and democratic rights in Israel. Yesterday, the Israeli police manhandled the director of Women of the Wall, wrested a sacred Torah scroll from her hands, and hauled her off to jail–all for praying. Today, it only took 34 of the 120 member of the Knesset who actually had the guts to strip Israeli Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi of her parliamentary privileges–all because she represented her constituents faithfully and joined the Gaza flotilla. The greatest shame perhaps is that only 16 Knesset members opposed this anti-democratic abortion.

What is interesting about all this is that Zoabi broke no Israeli law in doing so (she might have had the flotilla reached Gaza). So in effect, the Knesset minority basically said you did something offensive and we will punish you for it. This usurps the legal process by which the police and attorney general would do their job and ferret out illegality and prosecute it. It is an entirely arbitrary and capricious act and I hope she will appeal it to the Supreme Court, a body which at times has been known to get off its duff and protect the rights of Israel’s largest ethnic minority.

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