Monday, June 14, 2010

daring to speak: Haneen Zoubi

Member of Israeli Parliament Haneen Zoubi trying to do her job.

Where are the western feminist voices to defend Haneen Zoubi for daring to go against the dominant norm of the state/nation and for speaking out?

The media were quick to jump on Helen Thomas' remark, so why doesn't the mainstream North American media cover what is happening to Haneen Zoubi?

Why don't feminists, liberals, and the media speak out in condemnation of those calling for Zoubi's MP passport and privileges to be stripped and her Israeli citizenship to be revoked? Where is the clamour to expose the extremists who want her executed?

What is her "crime"? She had been on the Mavi Marmara. She speaks out in Israeli parliament about the attack on the Gaza flotilla, challenging the official Israeli version, asserting that she saw 3 passengers shot in the head by Israeli commandos. She asks hard questions such as why doesn't Israel release the photos and video footage confiscated from the passengers?

As Alison Weir writes, "According to eyewitness reports and forensic evidence, many of these aid volunteers were shot at close range, including a 19-year-old American citizen killed by four bullets to the head and one to the chest fired from 18 inches away."

The response against Zoubi is shocking; for her efforts towards seeking justice she has been made into a hate figure in Israel. Shouldn't Americans and Canadians be at least informed about what is going on?

Haneen Zoubi is a ground-breaking female politician and media scholar that I told you about before, and one of few Arab members of parliament in Israel, and the only Arab female MP in Israel. Obviously, her work is difficult, and now when she should be receiving support for her efforts, she is being castigated and heaped with not only scorn but also threat of punishment. Jonathan Cook writes about the recent far-right fueled frenzy to get her and her questions out of Israeli parliament, out of sight:

"Ms Zoubi has been provided with a bodyguard after receiving a spate of death threats. A popular Facebook page in Hebrew is calling for her execution and an online petition for her expulsion from the parliament has attracted tens of thousands of supporters.

[A Hebrew Facebook page “Execute MP Haneen Zoubi” features a cartoon image of the MP with crosshairs on her forehead as the figure waves a Palestinian flag with a bloody Star of David at its centre.]

Last week, in unprecedented scenes as she tried to address parliament, Ms Zoubi was heckled into silence by Jewish legislators shouting out “terrorist” and “traitor”. Guards only narrowly prevented a far-right parliamentarian from attacking her.

During her address to the parliament last week, Ms Zoubi called for an international investigation and demanded to know why Israel had not published photographs and video footage it confiscated from passengers that related to the nine dead and dozens of wounded. After the session, she said: “It was so hostile in the chamber that, had MPs been allowed to carry guns, I am sure someone would have shot me.” Israel has been swept by rightwing demonstrations in support of the raid on the flotilla over the past few days."


Merche Pallarés said...

What has happened to Haneen Zoubi is SHAMEFUL!! Those rightists Zionists have gone berserk. Israel, a democracy? Don't make me laugh... It's an ultra-rightist dictatorship. Hugs, M.

Ari said...

Finnish press has been very quiet about Ms. Zoubi. This is our censorship at its best.

northshorewoman said...

It seems that when an Arab woman in the Middle East is harangued by "Muslim extremists" there is no end to the media about it. When there is an Arab woman in the ME harangued by Israelis no one hears about it.