Hanin Zoabi, Balad, and the Jewish vote

MK Hanin Zoabi has had a tough term. Since first being elected to the Knesset in 2009 as number three on the list for Balad (National Democratic Assembly), the party founded by now-exiled former MK Azmi Bishara in 1995, Zoabi has endured almost constant personal and political attacks.

She was aboard the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship participating in the “Free Gaza” flotilla, when it was raided by Israeli commandos in 2010. In the aftermath, she suffered verbal attacks and threats from other Knesset members, and Likud representative Anastasia Michaeli tried to physically prevent her from addressing the legislative body. Last month, Israel’s Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify Zoabi’s candidacy. At the conclusion of the December 27 hearing where a panel of nine justices, headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, overturned the ruling, right-wing activists called her “terrorist” and “filth,” and tried to push past her escorts to prevent her from making a statement.

Read the whole story from 2013 on the Daily Beast’s Open Zion blog.