Knesset member barred from Israeli election over flotilla role
Israel’s central elections committee has banned Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, who participated in the May 2010 Turkish flotilla to Gaza, from participating in next month’s election.
Nineteen members of the committee comprised of Knesset members voted in favour of disqualifying Ms Zoabi. Nine opposed and one abstained. The decision will be referred to the supreme court next week.
Ms Zoabi claimed she represented a “whole generation of Palestinians ”, and said the committee was politically motivated.
“The decision is illegitimate. It is an expression of the tyranny of the majority and the destruction of basic democratic rights. It is the result of political vengeance and a miserable attempt to tread on the rights of an entire population,” she said.
Ofir Akunis, a Knesset member from the ruling Likud party, who submitted the request, said: “MK Zoabi clearly violated the law when she took part in the MV Mavi Marmara ‘terror attack’, and therefore she has no place in the Knesset.”
The Mavi Marmara was a Turkish vessel raided by Israeli commandos as it headed to the Gaza Strip in violation of Israel’s maritime blockade. Nine Turkish activists were killed when clashes broke out on deck between troops and activists.