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The New Arab

Haneen Zoabi attacked during women's political discussion

Zoabi is cleaned up after having drinks thrown at her [Photo by Reuven Kastro]

Date of publication: 4 March, 2015

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A debate in Israel ended in violence after Zoabi, a Palestinian member of Israel's Knesset, was attacked during a discussion about women and politics.
Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a member of the Knesset, was attacked on Tuesday by right-wing Israeli extremists during a political panel discussion at the College for Law and Business in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv.

Witnesses said supporters of right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel stormed the stage.

A man poured a bottle of soft drink on Zoabi, shouting "shame on you, terrorist". He was later arrested by police.

Zoabi was also reportedly elbowed in the stomach and nearly knocked down a flight of stairs.

Representing the Balad party, Haneen Zoabi was the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel's parliament on an Arab party's list.

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She, along with other participants, was at the college event to discuss women's issues.

During the course of the event, activists associated with the Habayit Hayehudi party, Yisrael Beiteinu and Yachad, yelled at Zoabi, preventing the audience from hearing her remarks.

When the first question was posed to Zoabi, Yisrael Beiteinu activists began singing the Israeli national anthem to silence her.

Before the debate, Baruch Marzel had encouraged his supporters to attend and disrupt the event. Marzel is a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, and previously boasted of being "right-hand man" to Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose radical Kach organisation was banned by both Israel and the United States as a terrorist organisation.

"Zoabi, I'm coming for you," he wrote in Hebrew on Facebook, calling on others to help him "wipe that smile off her face".

Following the event, Marzel took to Facebook again: "I said this morning, I would do everything to not let her speak - and it happened."

The Joint List's spokeswoman, Emily Moatti, was also assaulted, and taken to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.

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