On episode 10 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, Asa and Nora speak to Diana Buttu about the most recent Israeli election and what it means for Palestinians.
Diana dives into the politics of the Palestinian parties represented in Israel’s parliament as part of the Joint List. And she explains why Palestinian elections in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are a remote prospect.
Of Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz, she told us: “Gantz’s record is really no better than [Prime Minister Benyamin] Netanyahu, certainly not when it comes to his bombing campaigns in the Gaza Strip. He’s also somebody who not only came out and supports annexation [of the West Bank] but claims it was his idea to begin with.”
Diana explains the constraints faced by Palestinian lawmakers in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Haneen Zoabi, an outspoken critic of Israel’s policy towards Palestinians, has been temporarily banned from the Knesset and faced criminal proceedings for her speech. Zoabi has “paid a very heavy price [for] having to bear the brunt of Israeli racism and Israeli sexism,” Buttu said.
“Why did she do it? Because she very much believed there needed to be this strong Palestinian voice [inside the Knesset].”
Zoabi announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election after “a very intense 10 years.”
Diana Buttu is a former legal advisor and negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization and is also a policy advisor to Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.