Israel Elections: Labor candidate called Gaza 'ghetto,' Israel 'ugly'

Ibtisam Mara'ana left Meretz over IDF's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009

Ibtisam Mara'ana (photo credit: ACCESOMAT/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Ibtisam Mara'ana
The Labor Party faced a controversy on Tuesday after it was revealed that Ibtisam Mara’ana, who won the seventh slot on the party’s list in Monday’s primary, has made extreme statements in the past.
Mara’ana is an award-winning Muslim Arab filmmaker whose films have highlighted the suffering of Arab-Israelis. She is from the Arab village of Fureidis, near Haifa, and is married to a Jewish man.
Mara’ana left the 12th slot on the Meretz list in 2009 before the election to protest the party’s support for Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post revealed Monday.
She called Gaza “a ghetto under cruel occupation” on social media, KAN Reshet Bet reported Tuesday.
Mara’ana criticized the Tel Aviv Municipality for lighting up City Hall with the Lebanese flag after an ecological disaster, saying the building had never been lit up in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Less than two months ago, Mara’ana called the IDF “the occupation army” and accused its soldiers of murdering a Palestinian child.
In another post, she called Israel “ugly.”
Mara’ana won 6,269 votes in the primary, seventh out of 62 candidates, which would have been good enough for the eighth slot on the list. She was moved up to seventh, ahead of former MK Nachman Shai, even though he got more votes, because Labor leader Merav Michaeli decided that candidates on the list would alternate between women and men.
Speaking at a meeting of Labor’s top 10 candidates, Michaeli said Mara’ana opposes violence, supports peace and coexistence and was correct in pointing out that Israel has leadership that makes the country look bad.