Upset within Joint List over Arab MK's flotilla adventure

Despite public support for Balad's Basel Ghattas from alliance of Arab-dominated parties, there is displeasure that he did not coordinate the move.

June 25, 2015 21:20
1 minute read.
Basel Ghattas

Balad MK Basel Ghattas. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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While publicly the Joint List has come out in support of Balad MK Basel Ghattas’s participation in the third Gaza flotilla en route, there is displeasure that he did not coordinate the move with list members.

United Arab List’s MK Masud Gnaim criticized Ghattas publicly on Israeli Radio Thursday for not informing other members of the Joint List.

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A source told The Jerusalem Post that most of the Joint List MKs “heard it from the news.”

In addition, the trip on the flotilla was not coordinated and was not received well, said the source.
Arab MK joining third Gaza-bound flotilla talks to Jpost

Publicly, however, other than Gnaim the Joint List MKs have been supportive of Ghattas.

“Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a big crime, and so is war and the killing of civilians,” chairman Ayman Odeh said at the opening of a Joint List faction meeting on Monday.

“We support the humanitarian flotilla participation of MK Basel Ghattas, intended to raise the issue of the terrible suffering of Gazans living in a big prison,” said Odeh.

The faction released a statement supporting the “Freedom Flotilla” and condemning “the campaign of incitement and vilification” against Ghattas by “a number of extreme right-wing MKs.”

Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, who, like Ghattas, is a member of Balad, expressed desire to join the flotilla, but will not be doing so, she stated in an interview with Army Radio on Monday.

“Every normal person would participate in the struggle against the blockade and imprisonment of two million people on a piece of land,” said Zoabi, who participated in the 2010 flotilla on the ship Mavi Marmara, which IDF commandos boarded, killing 10 armed attackers.

Ghattas, in an interview with the Post on Monday, said that the effort is meant to bring attention to the siege on Gaza.

When asked if he found it problematic that an MK is acting against the state, Ghattas responded that what he is doing is legitimate political action.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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