Crowe congratulates Arab Israeli MP on winning her court case
January 3, 2013
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has congratulated Arab Israeli MP, Hanin Zoabi, on winning her Supreme Court case to allow her to run in Israel’s general election which takes place on January 22.
Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli-Arab party Balad, was originally banned from running in the election by the Israeli General Election Committee because she was a passenger on the 2010 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza (also known as the Mavi Marmama), which tried to break the illegal blockade of Gaza. On the flotilla nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli commandos, intent on stopping the flotilla reaching Gaza.
Deputy Crowe said:
“I want to pass on my congratulations to Ms Zoabi MP and commend her for winning her case in the Israeli Supreme Court by a unanimous decision.
“The decision to ban her was an attack on democracy in Israel and her victory in the Supreme Court shows that there was no legal basis to ban her from running in the upcoming general elections.
“While the court decision is a victory for common sense and natural justice, it does not prove that Israel is an open and inclusive democracy. The ruling does not stop the threats, intimidation and violence that Ms Zoabi faces on daily basis, needing special protection after receiving death threats.
“Right-wing parties, including the ruling Lukid party, have stated that they will continue their efforts to bar her from the Israeli Parliament after the January 22 elections.
“Ms Zoabi is the first female Arab Israeli to be elected to Israel’s Parliament on an Arab party’s ticket and she bravely stands up for the rights of Arab Israelis, who make up approximately 20 per cent of Israel’s population. She also courageously speaks out against the continued illegal blockade of Gaza.
“I wish Ms Zoabi the best of luck in the January 22 general election.”