Israeli Member of the Knesset (MK), Otniel Schneller, of the Kadima opposition party, filed a complaint against Arab MK, Hanin Zoaby, for travelling to South Africa to testify in a court without Israel’s permission.Schneller claimed that Zoaby of the Balad Party is acting against the state of Israel and “Must be punished for her actions.”
Furthermore, leaders of the Likud Party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are also calling for the ousting of Zoaby, and for preventing her from running for the Knesset in the next elections.
Zoaby went to South Africa after she was asked to testify in front to the Russell Tribunal, which is looking into cases of discrimination as practiced by Israel against the Arabs in the country.
Zoaby reportedly told the committee that Israel is a racist state, and that its political system is working to keep its identity to that of a state for the Jewish people, an issue that ignores the rights of the indigenous Arab population, and facilitates their expulsion from their homeland.
She also stated that, “Unlike Israel, South Africa eventually admitted that it maintained an apartheid system, and acted on ending it.”
The Committee requested that Israel send representatives to testify, but Tel Aviv did not respond to the invitations.
Zoaby has been under continuous political attacks by Israeli parliamentarians for her stances against the Israeli occupation and Israel’s illegal siege of the Gaza Strip.
The political persecution of Zoaby witnessed a sharp increase after she participated in the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to Gaza in 2010. The flotilla was intercepted and attacked by the Israeli Navy, and resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists.
Following the deadly attack against the humanitarian flotilla, Zoaby said that Israeli leaders who sent the soldiers to stop the flotilla must be brought to justice, and added that the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip is illegal and immoral.