Gaza Roundup 3: Shitstorm in the Knesset

Via Twitter, this came to my attention–an ugly shouting match in the Israeli parliament against an Arab-Israeli member, Hanin Zoabi, who was on the Freedom Flotilla:

I don’t understand Arabic or Hebrew, so I’m going to attach a portion of the English text that was helpfully included with the YouTube:

Knesset members on Wednesday slammed MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), who took part in the flotilla to Gaza raided by the IDF on Monday. Fears of violence against her by other MKs have led the Knesset to grant her personal security guards.

Arab Knesset member who participated in Gaza aid flotilla holds press conference says, ‘It was clear from size of force that boarded ship that purpose was not to stop sail, but to cause largest number of fatalities to prevent future initiatives’

MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) chased Zoabi in an attempt to keep her from speaking, and a fight broke out at the podium. Other MKs tried to separate between the two women, and eventually Michaeli was removed from the hall.

Each MK was allotted one minute to speak, but Zoabi took longer because of the many disruptions by other MKs present. When Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin asked her to descend from the podium she refused, and also had to be physically removed.

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) was also one of the MKs forced out of the debate. Zahalka said that the entire world condemns the IDF raid on the flotilla to Gaza.

“I want to call for the release of leaders of the Arab public,” he told the plenum before his removal, referring to Sheikh Raed Salah and others who were arrested for taking part in the sail. “MK Zoabi deserves an award. She fulfilled her duty.”

MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) intervened and said, “She deserves an award from Hamas!” He was also removed from the debate.

A heated debate took place before the speeches as well. “Zoabi is party to a double crime — joining terrorists and a moral crime against the State of Israel,” she said during a heated Knesset session Wednesday. “She must be punished. We don’t need Trojan horses in the Knesset.” MK Miri Regev (Likud) even shouted at Zoabi in Arabic, “Go to Gaza, traitor.”

“She (Zoabi) stood here over a year ago and pledged her allegiance to the State of Israel and its laws. My intention is not to harm freedom of speech — but in MK Zoabi’s case — this isn’t freedom of speech. The sail to Gaza was a sail of terror. Zoabi must be punished. We don’t need Trojan horses in the Knesset,” Regev said.

MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) also told Zoabi to visit the Strip. “I just wish you would go to Gaza for at lease a week and then we’ll see how you talk about women’s rights and civil rights. Just one week, and we’ll see what happens. One week in Gaza as a 38-year old single woman and we’ll see how they treat you! You are the last person capable of preaching morals to us,” he cried out.

Rightist lawmaker Moshe Mutz Matalon (Yisrael Beitenu) told Zoabi, “Nice work. In one day you’ve managed to accomplish what the treacherous people around you have been trying to do for years. Unfortunately, the (commando) fighters (who raided the aid flotilla) acted with too much restraint. They left only nine floating voters.”

MK Nachman Shai’s (Kadima) attack on Zoabi was a bit more refrained. “I respect democracy, but an MK cannot participate in such a journey, which is against the law and deifies the country that is mine just as much as it is yours.

“I respect your opinions, but it was wrong of you to stand on that ship’s deck. It’s unacceptable,” he added.

So, there you go…the vileness of the Israeli right-wing, stark naked to the light of day, along with their thinly disguised intolerance for Arab-Israelis and Palestinians. The Likudniks and Kadima now have an image problem of their own, right along with the IDF. Apparently they forgot that when you shit in your own hand and throw it at someone else, the stench still clings to you.

Meanwhile, watching Zoabi (in a dark suit, at the lectern) standing there very calmly while the wingnuts hurl abuse at her (and the security personnel then lead them away), is also telling–it tells something about the spirit of the people on board the flotilla.

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4 Responses to Gaza Roundup 3: Shitstorm in the Knesset

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    This woman is brave, and has incredible integrity.

  2. Yep, she really makes an impression in this clip. I don’t understand the words, but the body language speaks loud and clear–the others try to assault her, and hurl abuse, and she just stands calmly there, waiting for them to be escorted out. She’s amazing.

  3. Toe says:

    Jimmy Carter said Israel does not want peace, that I’s treatment of Palestine is one of the worst human rights deprivations he’s ever known of. And he was vilified for it.
    “She must be punished”, wonder what kind of punishment those zionists mean exactly.

  4. Probably something grotesquely sado-sexual, if I know the minds of ethnic cleansers.
    And yeah, how about that Jimmy Carter. His honesty was bang-on, as always.

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