Zoabi petitions High Court to keep parliamentary rights

Petition filed in conjunction with civil rights groups who claim that Knesset went beyond its authority and violated law of immunity.

November 7, 2010 14:12
1 minute read.
Balad MK Hanin Zoabi

hanin zoabi looking crazy 311. (photo credit: AP)

MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) petitioned the High Court on Sunday to nullify the Knesset decision depriving her of her parliamentary rights following her involvement with the Gaza flotilla in May.

The petition, filed in conjunction with Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), claimed that the Knesset exceeded its authority and acted against the law of immunity, which prohibits abuse of the rights and immunity of parliament members if they engage in political activity.

Knesset revokes Zoabi's MK rights
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The petitioners also claimed that the denial of Zoabi's rights creates a dangerous precedent, allowing representatives of the majority in the Knesset to punish members representing the minority, which goes against the immunity law's purpose - defending the equal freedom of all parliament members to engage in political activity.

Back in July, the Knesset voted 34 to 16 to strip Zoabi of some of her parliamentary privileges including: the right to hold a diplomatic passport; her right to subsidized legal counsel in the event of criminal proceedings against her over her participation in the flotilla, or for any related future offenses; and any extra privileges she could enjoy as a member of Knesset traveling overseas.

Zoabi said in a September interview that the IDF's boarding of the Mavi Marmara in international waters was illegal and contrary to international law.

She has also defended her participation in the flotilla and expressed surprise at what she termed the "racist" reaction many Israeli politicians and the public have had towards her participation.

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