Near-Lynching of Israeli Palestinian Knesset Member in Knesset (the Sequel)
A few days ago I featured here a story from the Israeli TV news about a shocking near riot in the Israeli Knesset over an address to that body by one of its members, Haneen Zoabi, who had been released the day before after participating in the Gaza flotilla. The TV news story, if anything, tempered the raw, seething hatred with which Zoabi was greeted in the Knesset by the many far-rightist MKs who not only loathed her, but were clearly prepared to beat her to a pulp if given half a chance.
This YouTube video is the raw footage direct from the Knesset video feed and thus contains more immediacy than the edited footage on the TV news. Unlike the previous video, it is also English-captioned, conveying the emotion in the taunting with more immediacy than the uncaptioned video. You’ll note that the reason Zoabi is addressing the Knesset is on a point of personal privilege after other members had accused her of carrying knives on the floor of the Knesset and being a terrorist, traitor, and murderer (the latter a stretch considering if anything the IDF did the murdering and not Zoabi). She was given 5 minutes to address the personal charges against her. But not only did members heckle her address, the acting speaker, ostensibly to control the hecklers, interrupted her at will. He then had to audacity to tell her that her five minutes were up even though she’d barely gotten out a few sentences.
Even more disturbing at the end is an interaction with the male Knesset member who accused her of carrying knives, in which she courageously confronts him and he rages at her as if he would tear her limb from limb. It is portrait of raw Israeli male aggression and frightening to behold.
Knesset security then proceeds to forcibly remove Zoabi from the hall, only to be interrupted by the Knesset speaker who bellows to the assembled body: “Lifting a hand against an MK? Is that what we want the world to see? Don’t force her out. MK Zoabi, have a seat. Knesset security is collaborating with them [the rightists, in forcing her out of the hall].” A very telling interchange. In other words, the only reason Zoabi is not evicted is TV cameras and the fact that the Knesset speaker knows the whole world is watching.
This may be why the Shin Bet prefers acting in the shadows and slapping gag orders and travel bans on Israeli dissidents, especially Israeli Palestinians. Authoritarian regimes flourish in darkness and wither in daylight. This is also why the Gaza flotilla debacle has helped expose the stinking moral corruption not only of Israel’s Gaza siege, but of the entire Occupation.
I’lam, the Israeli Palestinian media NGO released this statement in light of the attacks on Zoabi. The statement details further alarming, blatantly anti-democratic measures advocated against her in light of her involvement in the Gaza flotilla:
Since the attack in the Knesset, MK Danny Danon said the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation had agreed to debate a bill to allow for removing acting MKs from their position if they were found to have committed incitement against the State of Israel, while a request had been submitted to the Central Elections Committee to block MK Zoabi from being able to run in any future Knesset election. Interior Minister Eli Yishai is seeking the Attorney General’s permission to revoke her parliamentary immunity in order for Haneen Zoabi to be stripped of her citizenship!
The treatment of MK Zoabi and the violation to her freedom of expression is a gross violation of the freedom of expression of her political constituency, a significant portion of the Palestinian community in Israel. The political persecution that followed with the slew of bills being proposed is a serious assault on the freedom of expression of Palestinian citizens of the state.
…Charges of “traitor” and “terrorist” are leveled at those who attempt to lift the siege as a matter of international humanitarian imperative. This forces us to question – what are the values of a system that…equates humanitarian assistance to Palestinians with terrorism? Are these values in keeping with the values of the international community and the principle of human dignity that is meant to inform international human rights law?
Important questions. If Haneen Zoabi didn’t enjoy parliamentary immunity she’d undoubtedly be bound and tied to the same chair to which the Shin Bet tied Ameer Makhoul when they interrogated and tortured him. What a country!
Video h/t to Dena Shunra.
12 thoughts on “Near-Lynching of Israeli Palestinian Knesset Member in Knesset (the Sequel) – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
does parliamentary immunity involve acts and deeds or only words?
pretty amazing that israel grants immunity for acts to its knesset members
Parliamentary immunity is standard in most democracies. I don’t think we have such a thing in the U.S.
When you call this a “near lynching” are you trying to be funny? Are you making reference and belittling the near lynching that took place on the Marmara, you know the one where the IDF soldiers survived with a fractured skull, stab wounds to the stomach and broken limbs?
Oh I don’t find it funny at all when male Israeli MKs accuse an Israeli Palestinian MK of murder and rage at her ominously clearly indicating they would kill her w. their bare hands if given half a chance. Not funny at all.
As for the IDF soldiers: I seem to recall they arrived at the party uninvited. They didn’t even bring a gift for the host or a bottle of wine for the guests. And you don’t usually arrive at parties fully armed. Do you think the passengers should’ve invited them for tea, put on some White Stripes & had a dance party? I’m not justifying beating the crap out of them. But they clearly had aggressive intentions & neither you, they nor Israel have any right to complain about the outcome. The fact that you do so indicates how pathetic yr perspective is.
I’m not the one complaining about the outcome.
i guess than that the fractured skull of the soldier you mentioned is not an outcome? you dont complain about that? would it be possible than that you are complaining about the 10 dead peaple instead? no chance since they dont bother you. 10 dead people is not a lynch but 2 wounded soldiers are.
israelies are developing a language and rules of their own. their own world.
all the best
Balad MK Hanin Zoabi is a remarkable woman. Well educated, well spoken and dedicated to her cause. While the spectacle shown here is appalling, I doubt even Zoabi would characterize it as a “near-lynching!” These sorts of dust ups are actually quite common in the Knesset. Very little has changed in that respect from the days when Charlie Bitton and Meir Kahane used to go at each other in the 80s. I would urge you to consider thinking about your sensationalistic characterizations as they only detract from your posts.
It really gets me steamed when Jews attempt to insert themselves into the minds of Arabs. By what right do you presume to know what Zoabi did or did not feel? Did you not see in the TV news segment that she cried after returning to her seat?? No you didn’t note that. Would you cry in the middle of the Knesset in the midst of your fiercest political enemies if you hadn’t felt deeply shaken & threatened? I’m sorry but yr comment disgusts me because it is so offensive & presumptuous.
Further, the TV news show which featured this clip called it unprecedented as have other Israelis who have commented. THere certainly is argument & denunciation within the Knesset. But this went far beyond.
And stop telling me what or how I should write i the guise of telling me how I improve my blog. I have absolutely no interest in yr advice.
I didn’t presume anything. All I said was that I doubted she would call it a “near-lynching.” That’s my opinion and of course I am open to being shown otherwise. The tear she shed when seated was extremely touching, yet throughout the ordeal Zoabi conducted herself with tact and decorum. I’ve had occasion to meet Zoabi and she is a classy lady, she never struck me as one who would rely on bombast or exaggeration. A near-lynching implies that given the opportunity, the MKs involved would have strung her up right there on the spot. That’s extreme exaggeration and not something I have ever associated with her. That’s just my 2 cents though. Do with it what you please.
I have absolutely no doubt that is the case. Hence the title of my post was no “exagerration.” In your case, Paul Simon’s lyrics are apt: “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
Thanks very much for your post Richard and for linking to our article. Surely Haneen was shaken up and continues to be shaken up by all the moves that followed; for example, the Knesset House Committee voted 7-1 to strip her of three of her diplomatic privileges. For participating in a humanitarian aid convoy and giving the Israeli Parliament a first hand account of what happened on the ship. It is outrageous!
Do you know that she also announced in a press conference she held that she saw two activists bleed to death? Surely she has been terrorized by the whole affair.
I find it interesting that everyone in the West states how Israel is just like us. what a democracy it is. I think it’s all a farce. It’s not a democracy. It is an apartheid state. even the ethiopian jews are not treated as equal citizens.