Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Arab-Israeli MP may face election ban

Election panel to consider motions against Haneen Zoabi, who took part in Gaza flotilla in 2010, and two Arab parties

in Jerusalem

".....In response to the move to disqualify her, Zoabi said: "This is the time to choose between fascism and democracy." Only "dark regimes" could be proud of disqualifying candidates, she added.

"The rightwing has become accustomed to setting itself above the law, above human rights and above the rules of democracy," Zoabi said. Its goal, she said, was to "completely eliminate freedom of speech, political pluralism and the deviation from a narrow ideological consensus, which views an Arab who fights for his rights and his place as a great enemy.".....

But according to Adalah, a legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel, which is representing Zoabi and the two parties, the composition of the supreme court is more conservative than in the past.

It says the motions should be seen in the context of the past four years of Binyamin Netanyahu's government, in which 20 laws that "target and discriminate against Arab citizens of Israel" have been passed.

"This process should be understood as a direct continuation of escalating measures taken against Israel's Arab-Palestinian citizens and their elected representatives," said Hassan Jabareen, of Adalah. "It is not acceptable for the majority to exclude minority representatives from the parliamentary process; there is no legal basis to do so and this step risks the gradual disenfranchisement of 20% of Israel's population."

In its response to the motions, which it described as racist, Adalah said there was insufficient evidence or a legal basis for disqualification. Israel's attorney-general has also said there is insufficient evidence to disqualify Zoabi or the two Arab parties......"

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