High Court Orders Knesset to Explain Rescindment of MK Zoabi’s Rights

The Knesset plenum, photo by Itzik Edri

The High Court of Justice has issued an Order Nisi yesterday (26 April 2011), instructing the Knesset to explain within 30 days why it will not cancel its decision to rescind parliamentary rights from MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad). The Knesset voted to rescind Zoabi’s parliamentary rights after she participated in the flotilla that was headed to the blockaded Gaza Strip in May 2010.
 
This Order Nisi was issued following a petition submitted by MK Zoabi through the organizations Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and a separate petition submitted by MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), former MKs Ami Ayalon and Amram Mitzna, and Tal Zilberstein.
 
The petitioners argued that “the purpose of the immunity is to protect the political activities of Members of Knesset – particularly those who represent the minority,” and that the Knesset has exceeded its mandate and has operated in contradiction to the Immunity Knesset Members Law, which prohibits harming the immunity or the parliamentary rights of an MK due to political activity.
 
Rescinding MK Zoabi’s rights sets a dangerous precedent, which enables the representatives of the majority in the Knesset to “punish” MKs for their political views, in contradiction with the main purpose of the immunity – which is to protect the freedom of political activity of all Knesset representatives in an equal manner. This precedent might undermine the right to freedom of political expression and the right to equality of minority representatives, particularly the national minority.
 
The petitioners further stated that the Knesset has operated under a misconstrued legal assumption, as though the substantive immunity was not intended to protect the activities of the MK from the actions of the Knesset itself, but rather from the executive branch.
 
 
To read the Order Nisi issued by the High Court of Justice (in Hebrew):
http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files/10/450/063/p06/10063450.p06.htm

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Arab Citizens of Israel, Arab Minority Rights, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression

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4 Responses to High Court Orders Knesset to Explain Rescindment of MK Zoabi’s Rights

  1. Pingback: Netanyahu’s dovish ‘new’ policy is draped in hawk’s clothing | FEED NEWS

  2. daigoumee כתב:

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

  3. Lisa Neese כתב:

    Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

  4. Yo כתב:

    Lisa,

    Thanks for your interest. ACRI’s Facebook page in English is at:
    http://www.facebook.com/acri.eng
    and we would love to have you join it.