BERIL – Fighting in Parliament

Fighting in ParliamentIn a number of countries, being a parliamentarian necessitates a basic knowledge of martial arts. In those countries, people who ignore a few combat and self-defense techniques should definitely forget about running for a seat in parliament.

The Taiwanese parliament is probably the most notable example of legislative violence around the globe and recently, during summer 2013, the images of brawling in the countryand#39s legislative body once again became a social media attraction. To tell the truth, one is not able to think any more about Taiwanand#39s democracy without remembering those hectic images.

Turkeyand#39s Parliament is not exempt from this phenomenon. In 2015, along with their Ukrainian colleagues, Turkish deputies have tried really hard to prove to the world that they are able to fight better than the Taiwanese.

There are many other examples from around the world, of course, and their common point is that men often play the leading role in those fights. Maybe the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, is a little bit different in this context because female members of the Knesset donand#39t hesitate to help their male colleagues.

They assist them not only through verbal assaults but also through physical interventions.Some Israeli female parliamentarians have an international reputation already and not only because of their battle skills.

In July 2014, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked called for the slaughter of Palestinian women who might give birth in order to andquotcurb terrorism in Gazaandrdquo She is a member of The Jewish Home party and during the 2013 electoral campaign, she based her campaign on the promotion of womenand#39s rights. She probably changed her mind about women once being elected because she begun talking about killing mothers.

One wonders if she was inspired more by former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevicand#39s biography or by books about German history. It is quite certain, however, that her declarations constitute a crime against humanity.

There are other female members of the Knesset who are known internationally not because of their incredible declarations but because they have suffered from physical assaults. Haneen Zoabi, for example, was attacked during a conference she attended recently.

A young Israeli student poured a soft drink on her and then threw the bottle in her direction.Zoabi, an Israeli Arab, is a well-known member of the Knesset because she was on board the humanitarian assistance ships heading towards Gaza in 2010.

At this time, her presence there was severely criticized and she was called a andquottraitorandquot when she addressed the Israeli parliament two days after the incident. Some members of the Knesset have even charged the podium in an attempt to prevent her from continuing.

Her political opponents have even proposed to revoke her parliamentary immunity and the Knesset stripped Zoabi of a number of parliamentary privileges, such as the right to a diplomatic passport. It was an odd reaction because the same Knesset had done nothing to a sanction a member who claimed that Palestinian mothers should be killed but it did punish a member whose only andquotuiltandquot was to participate in a humanitarian flotillaIt was also announced that the Israeli Central Elections Committee would disqualify Zoabi from running in the coming elections, but the Supreme Court of Israel overturned the decision, so Zoabi can run in the Israeli elections scheduled for mid-March.

It is quite disappointing that people who were elected in order to represent the nation for their intellect come to blows too frequently or face physical assaults. How one can expect an ambiance of peace and compromise in the country when even people in parliament arenand#39t able to talk to one and other quietly.

One wonders why physical assaults inside parliaments are not considered an unacceptable breach of discipline and lead to automatic exclusion of the parliamentarians in question. That would be a deterrent, perhaps.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman