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Press Release – The National Democratic Assembly

Press Release
The National Democratic Assembly
Member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi – Parliamentary Office
16 Aug 2010

MK Zoabi to the Attorney General: “your position stands to strengthen undemocratic and dangerous political and public trends”

“by joining the Freedom Flotilla, I performed my civic duty to oppose the inhuman and illegal siege imposed on the Gaza Strip”

Following the statement made by the Attorney General, Adv. Yehuda Weinstein, in which he would examine a request to revoke the citizenship of Member of Knesset (MK) Haneen Zoabi after the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into her for her participation in the Freedom Flotilla, MK Zoabi sent him the following outraged and sharply-worded letter.

“In light of your response to the request of the Minister of Interior to revoke my citizenship, which was broadcast on the Gale Tzahal radio station on 15 August 2010, I hereby approach you as follows:

“At the outset, I would like to emphasize that I expect you, as the head of the prosecutorial authorities, to reject such request immediately and not simply to postpone it “until the investigation is completed”, since the issue in question should not be dealt with either in public or through legal channels.


“The right to citizenship is a basic human right. It constitutes the basis and key for the fulfillment of many other basic human rights. It is therefore clear that revoking one’s citizenship is manifestly illegal, and stands in clear violation of basic international human rights treaties. This is particularly so in the case of the revocation of the citizenship of an elected politician solely only because she fulfilled her duty as a public representative and joined the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.

“I do not consider my own citizenship or the citizenship of others a privilege that may be withdrawn as a result of performing an act that is controversial from a public point of view. Moreover, by joining the Freedom Flotilla, I performed my civic duty to oppose the inhuman and illegal siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

“The Attorney General should obstruct dangerous political and public attempts to undermine the tenets of democracy. The call to revoke the citizenship of an elected parliamentarian because her views contradict the views of the majority is an example of such attempts. Such a call constitutes the cynical and dangerous use of the law for the purpose of achieving a populist end. Regrettably, instead of expressing a clear view against the call to revoke my citizenship – which is based on vindictive motives – your response only serves to legitimize such attempts.

“Needless to say, your position stands to strengthen undemocratic and dangerous political and public trends, as reflected in various bills that relate to the citizenship of the Arab citizens as a conditional citizenship and a privilege, in violation of the basic rights to which they are entitled from the moment they are born.

“I am gravely concerned at the fact that you are even willing to consider the request to revoke my citizenship. I therefore ask you to retract the aforementioned statement.”

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