The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has agreed to provide extra security for Haneen Zoubi, of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad), after the Member of Parliament received death threats. Extreme right-wing MPs and Jewish extremists have attacked Ms. Zoubi for her participation in the Free Gaza Movement’s Freedom Flotilla.
According to Zoubi’s parliamentary office, she has received dozens of phone calls and e-mails which support her killing and physical abuse. Some of them wished for “her fast death”, and said that she “would lose members of her family” in the same way that Gaza solidarity activists were shot and killed on board the Mavi Marvara.
In a Knesset session on Thursday, June 3, Ms. Zoubi faced widespread protests from Knesset Members on the extreme right and some attempts to attack her physically. In one of the most violent Knesset sessions for years, Zoubi described the Israeli attack on Monday, during which nine solidarity activists were killed, as a “criminal act of piracy”. She insisted that the threats will not stop her from fulfilling her “national and humanitarian duty” and claimed that she will be participating in the Freedom Flotilla again, “whether the racists like it or not”.
Forty-one year old Haneen Zoubi is one of twelve Arab MPs in the Israeli Knesset and was on board of one of the aid ships. She was arrested by the Israeli naval forces but was released due to her parliamentary immunity.
MPs of several parliamentary blocs, including Kadima, Labour and Likud, participated in the incitement against Zoubi and described her as a “terrorist, traitor and Trojan horse” as they called for her to be expelled from the Knesset and the country. Anastasia Michaeli, of the fundamentalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, shouted at Zouby and went up to the podium where she was speaking and yelled, “Why is this woman allowed to speak?” She then tried to attack Ms. Zouby physically but guards intervened. As Zouby made her way to and from the podium, she was abused by her fellow MPs who shouted offensive slurs at her.