Arab members of Israel’s Knesset (MKs) are accustomed to political marginalisation, as well as being targets for abuse and threats to their positions. Recently, however, there has been a further deterioration, as two elected representatives of the non-Jewish minority, Mohammed Barakeh and Said Naffaa, have been subjected to criminal proceedings.
Barakeh is currently on trial for four separate charges, relating to incidents alleged to have taken place at separate public demonstrations over a period stretching from 2005 to 2007. Apart from protesting his innocence, the Palestinian MK claims that the process is politically motivated. Adalah, the legal advocacy group whose lawyers are representing him, agree — they described the indictment as criminalising “legitimate political activities” and an attempt “to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader”. Read more