Zoabi: I have the right to citizenship

Balad MK tells A-G his stance is dangerous and undemocratic.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 15, 2010 20:14
1 minute read.
BALAD MK, Haneen Zoabi

BaladMKHaneenZoabi311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Balad MK Haneen Zoabi told Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein Sunday that the request made by Interior Minister Eli Yishai to denounce her citizenship is dangerous and undemocratic.

Zoabi said in a letter sent to Weinstein that taking away her citizenship is totally illegal and goes against all international human rights agreements.

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The Balad MK criticized the complaint made by Weinstein regarding the issue and said that he is supposed to restrain dangerous political and public tenancies.

"The call to denounce the citizenship of a chosen public figure just because she does not agree with the majority constitutes a typical example of attempts like this," Zoabi added.

"I would expect that the attorney general of the state of Israel would reject this type of request," Zoabi stated.

Zoabi claimed that "the right to citizenship is a fundamental right of the first degree and constitutes a basis of a number of fundamental rights.

The Knesset voted in July to strip Zoabi of some of her parliamentary privileges, following her participation in the Gaza flotilla aboard the MV Mavi Marmara.

A series of lawmakers, both Arab and Jew, complained that such a move endangered Israeli democracy, but Zoabi’s opponents argued that it was the freshman MK who constituted a threat to Israel.

In June, the Knesset’s House Committee voted seven to one to deny Zoabi 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. But while House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) planned to bring the vote to the plenum as quickly as possible, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) delayed the vote while awaiting any indications from the attorney-general regarding criminal charges against Zoabi.

Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.


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