|Date of birth||23 May 1969|
|Place of birth||Nazareth, Israel|
|Party represented in Knesset|
Haneen Zoabi, also Hanin Zoubi, (Arabic: حنين زعبي, Hebrew: חנין זועבי; born 23 May 1969) is a Palestinian Arab and an Israeli citizen, the first Arab Israeli woman to be elected to the Israeli legislative body on an Arab party's list. Zoabi ran in the 2009 legislative elections on the Balad party.
Haneen Zoabi was born in Nazareth to a Muslim family. Zoabi studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Haifa, earning a Bachelors of Arts, and received a Masters of Arts in communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was the first Arab citizen of Israel to graduate in media studies, and established the first media classes in Arab schools. She also worked as a mathematics teacher and worked as a school inspector for the Israeli Ministry of Education.
She is a relative of Seif el-Din el-Zoubi, a former mayor of Nazareth and member of the Knesset between 1949 and 1959, and again from 1965 until 1979, and Abd el-Aziz el-Zoubi, a Deputy Health Minister and the first Arab member of an Israeli government.
Zoabi joined Balad in 2001. In 2003, she co-founded the NGO I'lam – Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel (pronounced e'e'lam). Zoabi was its general director until she resigned shortly before the 2009 election to focus on her political career.
Prior to the 2009 elections she won third place on the Balad list, and entered the Knesset after the party won three seats. She became the first female Arab MK to represent an Arab party (though preceded by Hussniya Jabara and Nadia Hilou on other lists). Zoabi ran for Knesset as a Balad candidate in 2006, but was too low on the party's electoral list to win a seat.
Political views and opinions
Zoabi rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, which she describes as "inherently racist." She has argued that this is the only way to combat Avigdor Lieberman's demand that Israeli citizens take loyalty oaths: "Balad's concept, which rejects the 'Jewish state' idea, is the only idea that can remove [Avigdor] Lieberman from the circle of political and moral legitimacy... When you agree with the 'Jewish state' idea, you necessarily agree with the idea of loyalty to this state. Rejecting the 'Jewish state' concept will block the road for anyone who demands our loyalty to such a state." Zoabi sees no difference between Lieberman and more mainstream Israeli politicians, saying that Lieberman, Tzipi Livni, and Benjamin Netanyahu are "all a bunch of fascists pure and simple."
At the 18th Knesset swearing-in ceremony on February 24, 2009, she left the Knesset plenum before the singing of Hatikva, Israel's national anthem. "'Hatikva' doesn't represent me", she later said. "I preferred to leave the room, because I don't appreciate hypocrisy." She has voiced support for Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons, saying “I need something to balance its [Israel’s] power.”
Zoabi rejects any form of national service for Israel's Arab citizens. In an interview with Jonathan Cook, Zoabi said: "It is frustrating and exhausting having always to be on the defensive about why I identify as a Palestinian, why I am not a Zionist, why the Jewish state is not democratic and cannot represent me, why I am entitled to citizenship. It is a Sisyphean labor."
Participation in the Gaza flotilla
On 31 May 2010 Zoabi participated in the Gaza flotilla. She was on board the MV Mavi Marmara where violence broke out when Israeli commandos boarded the ship with intention of redirecting it to the port of Ashdod. In a speech at the Knesset, Zoabi describing the raid as a "pirate military operation." During her speech, she was repeatedly interrupted by the other Israeli lawmakers, who furiously shouted "Go to Gaza, traitor"! During her address she said: "Israel spoke of a provocation, but there was no provocation. Why does the government of Israel oppose an investigation?" Later in a press conference she elaborated: "It was clear from the size of the force that boarded the ship that the purpose was not only to stop this sail[ing], but to cause the largest possible number of fatalities in order to stop such initiatives in the future."
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai requested that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein revoke Zoabi's parliamentary immunity and authorize Yishai to strip Zoabi of her Israeli citizenship. Yishai accused Zoabi of engaging in a "premeditated act of treason", and claimed she used her immunity to protect her from prosecution, even though she assisted activists and was "undoubtedly aware" of their preparations to attack IDF soldiers. Likud MK Yariv Levin also accused Zoubi of betraying the State of Israel, and called for her prosecution.
A Knesset committee voted 7–1 to recommend her parliamentary immunity be revoked, which attracted concern from the Inter-Parliamentary Union and was ultimately blocked by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who ignored the recommendation and declined to submit it to a vote of the full Knesset.
When the full Knesset met on 13 July 2010, it decided, in a 34–16 vote, to strip her of three parliamentary privileges as a penalty for her participation in the flotilla: the right to have a diplomatic passport, entitlement to financial assistance should she require legal help, and the right to visit countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations. She was also stripped of the right to participate in Knesset discussions and to vote in parliamentary committees.
In 2011, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein closed the case against Zoabi "as result of significant evidentiary and legal difficulties."
Altercation in the Knesset
In 2011, Zoabi was accused of assaulting a female usher of the Knesset after she was asked to leave for heckling during a speech. Zoabi subsequently apologised to the usher, writing “I didn’t intend to push or harm you. I respect you and your work. I apologized in the press at my own volition without anyone have to tell me to.” A majority of the MKs in the House Committee said they were satisfied with Zoabi’s apology and would not consider further action.
In December 2012, it was announced that the Central Elections Committee and a panel of Supreme Court judges would hold discussions on whether to disqualify Zoabi, as well as the Balad and United Arab List parties, from the 2013 election. The request for her disqualification, submitted by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) and which obtained the necessary number of signatures, stated that "throughout her years in the Knesset, Zoabi has constantly undermined the State of Israel and has openly incited against the government, its institutions and IDF soldiers." The request further noted that Zoabi negates Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state, which makes Knesset candidates eligible for disqualification.
After hearing the case, the Central Elections Committee disqualified Zoabi in a 19-9 vote. The Israeli Supreme Court overturned the disqualification, with the nine-judge panel headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis unanimously voting to overturn the ban. In February 2013, MK Danny Danon initiated a bill dubbed the "Zoabi Law", as an amendment to the Basic Law dealing with legislation. Specifically aimed at Zoabi, the new law would make it harder for the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Central Elections Committee. Under the law, the Supreme Court would be unable to overturn a Central Elections Committee decision unless the committee displayed "extreme unreasonableness", while the committee will only be able to disqualify an MK or party with a two-thirds vote, as opposed to a majority. In addition, it also allows an MK to be impeached and removed from office if a sufficient number of Knesset members file a complaint and vote in favor of removal.
- An interview with Haneen Zoubi, the only female Arab in the Knesset Alternatives International Journal. April 2009. p.6
- Cook, Jonathan (February 25, 2009). "Palestinian Woman Makes History in Israeli Parliament". AlterNet. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Jason Koutsoukis (16 May 2009). "Voice of equality". The Age. "My parents are Muslims. They pray, they fast, they have been to Mecca, but they raised their children to think and feel as liberal, open-minded people."
- From The Jerusalem Report (March 16, 2009). "Provocative Parliamentarian (Extract)". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Ministers of the Minorities". Governments of Israel. Knesset of Israel Website. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Haneen Zoubi Makes Knesset History, And Then Some". Caledoniyya. February 26, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Sokol, Samuel (March 31, 2009). "New Balad MK praises Iran's nuke quest: Zuabi cites Cold War, saying Mutually Assured Destruction is a means to restrain Israel.". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "MK Haneen Zoubi in a Meeting with CodePink and CWP". Gaza-eng.coalitionofwomen.org. 1999-02-22 ?. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Paz, Shelly (February 24, 2009). "Peres: Conclude peace deal this term". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "General Consensus against 'Civic Service' in the 'I Will Not Serve' Conference in Haifa" (Doc). Baladna Association for Arab Youth. March 27, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Ali Abunimah (May 30, 2010). "Palestinian Pundit: Image: Palestinian Knesset member Haneen Zoubi speaks to Israel media from Gaza flotilla". Palestinianpundit.blogspot.com. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "The occupation authorities transfer Haneen Zoubi to investigation". FreeGaza.ps. June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Ravid, Barak; Haaretz Service, Jack Khoury and Jonathan Lis (June 2, 2010). "Israeli Arab MK who joined Gaza flotilla: IDF raid was a 'pirate' operation". Haaretz. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Joshua Mitnick (June 5, 2010). "Zoubi turns the heat on Tel Aviv with open criticism of action". Reprinted from The Christian Science Monitor. Gulf News. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "חדשות – פוליטי/מדיני nrg – ...ח"כ חנין זועבי: הנייה אמר לי". Nrg.co.il. 2010-06-05.
- JPost.Com staff; Rebecca Anna Stoil (June 6, 2010). "Facebook user calls for MK Zoabi's death". JPost.com. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Ravid, Barak (June 3, 2010). "Interior Minister seeks to strip Israeli Arab MK of citizenship: Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi took part in Gaza aid flotilla, in what Eli Yishai calls a 'premeditated act of treason'". Haaretz.
- Lis, Jonathan (June 7, 2010). "Knesset panel recommends revoking Arab MK's privileges". Haaretz.
- "Israel's democracy: Under siege too: Some liberals say that Israel's vaunted democracy is under threat". The Economist. June 17, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Lis, Jonathan (2010-06-16). "International lawmakers may probe Israeli decision to censure Arab MK". Haaretz.com.
- Lis, Jonathan (2010-07-14). "Knesset revokes key privileges of Hanin Zuabi". Haaretz.com.
- Harkov, Lahav (2010-07-18). "Haneen Zoabi suspended from Knesset over Gaza flotilla". Jerusalem Post. Lis, Jonathan (2010-07-18). "Arab MK stripped of further parliamentary privileges for role in Gaza flotilla". Haaretz.
- Glickman, Aviad. "Flotilla case closed: Zoabi won't be charged." Ynetnews. 22 December 2011. 22 December 2011.
- Zoabi 'attack' episode ends with apology Jerusalem Post, By GIL HOFFMAN07/19/2011 18:54
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (October 2013)|
- Haneen Zoabi on the Knesset website
- Samira Shackle (August 6, 2010). "The NS Interview: Haneen Zoabi". New Statesman. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- David Hearst (July 25, 2010). "Israel's harassment of citizens could ignite uprising, warns Arab politician". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "An Interview with Haneen Zoubi, the only female Arab in the Knesset", alternatives international journal, April 2009
- "A One or Two State Solution? – Haneen Zoubi", SJ around the Bay
- "Activist's Account Of Raid Differs From Israeli Version", NPR, Peter Kenyon, June 1, 2010
- "Haneen Zoubi – Attack in the Knesset and insults" on YouTube
- Zoubi Receives Death Threats After Surviving Israeli Raid on Gaza Aid Flotilla – video report by Democracy Now!