Haneen Zoabi is an Arab member of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). In late December 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court overruled a Central Elections Commission decision and ruled that Zoabi can stand for re-election in 2013.
Zoabi is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause. She was the first Arab woman to be elected to the Knesset, where she has served for almost four years.
In May 2010, Zoabi was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara, a flotilla that attempted to breach the blockade of Gaza. Nine activists were killed and more than 100 wounded after an Israeli raid of the flotilla, resulting in international condemnation of the attack.
Upon Zoabi’s return to the Knesset, other members of parliament verbally assaulted her for her participation in the flotilla. In addition, the Central Elections Commission took a decision disqualifying Zoabi from seeking re-election. Her participation in the flotilla was so controversial that she also received death threats.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative welcomes the news that Haneen Zoabi can stand for re-election in 2013. We celebrate her continued perseverance in the face of adversity and the example she sets of the strength of women.
Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla sparks international outrage, The Guardian, 31 May 2010.
Palestinian Member of Israeli Knesset Receives Death Threats After Surviving Israeli Raid on Gaza Aid Flotilla, Democracy Now, 9 June 2010.
Israeli-Arab politician who was on Gaza protest flotilla can stand for re-election, The Guardian, 30 December 2012.
Haneen Zoabi: Not here to be loved, Haaretz, 4 January 2013.