The Israeli Knesset house committee decided to revoke three key parliamentarian privileges of MK Zo’by for being part of the Freedom Flotilla that was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The decision was passed by a majority of seven to one, with MK Ilan Gilon of Meretz opposing.
One is the privilege to exit the country, second is bearing diplomatic passport, while the third privilege is the right to have the Knesset cover litigation fees of an MK if she is put on trial.
Likud member of Knesset Yariv Levin, slammed the National Democratic Assembly and its member Mk Hanin Zo’by, and stated that she refuses to pledge allegiance to Israel.
Levin quoted Zo’by as stating that she spoke of Israel’s nuclear power and that she said there should be a country that has a parallel power to Israel in the Middle East.
Levin also stated that Zo’by told reporters in Turkey that she refuses to be Israeli, and that she is a Palestinian despite being a member of the Knesset.
He added that she told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera that fundamentalist Israeli parties refuse to recognize the Arabs in the country as the indigenous people, and that she criticized Israel for politically prosecuting Arab intellectuals and officials such as Dr. Azmi Bishara, who challenges Zionism and presents the difference between democracy and Zionism.
Leven also said that Zo’by and several other Arab officials visited Libya and met its president Moammar Qaddafi despite the fact that Israel regards Libya as an enemy state.
While the Knesset session is being held, and the debate is heating up, dozens of fundamentalists started their protest in front of the Knesset demanding Israel to expel Zo’by to Gaza or ant Arab country.
In an interview with Israeli Army Radio before the session, Levin said that Zo’by “betrayed Israel” and must be prosecuted as a traitor.
He said that Zo’by crossed all red lines, adding that “those who sail to Hamas, support terrorism”.
But Attorney Eyal Yinon, the legal advisor of the Knesset, objected to revoking privileges of Zo’by, and that legitimacy to be a Knesset member cannot be revoked due to participation in the Freedom Flotilla.
Yinon added that this debate is about “misuse of rights”, Israeli Ynet News reported, “and not on the status of Knesset members”.
Furthermore, Attorney Ran Nizri, the senior assistant of Israel’s Attorney General, stated that visiting Libya is not prohibited as the country is not on Israel’s list of countries that Israelis are not allowed to visit.
MK Zo’by told the Ynet that Levin is trying to delegitimize her participation in the Freedom Flotilla, and is also trying to delegitimize to Balad Political Party she represents.
She added that the session started with an atmosphere of hostility and hatred, and that this hostility and the committee in charge if the session is not only threatening her, but also attacking Arab members of the Knesset.