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Muslim Woman To Be First Israeli Lawmaker To Don Hijab in Knesset – Record Number of Muslim Women in Knesset

Following the almost final results of the 23rd Knesset election, Israel will have its first-ever Hijab-wearing lawmaker. Iman Khatib, a representative of the Islamist United Arab List, occupies the 15th spot on the Joint List and will be the first hijab-wearing woman ever to serve in the Knesset.

She is one of four Muslim women in the top 15 spots on the party list. The total number of Muslim women who will be serving in the next Knesset is five as the four women from the United list are joined by a Druze woman on the Blue and White list named Gadeer Mreeh.

In total, the Joint List looks to be getting 15 mandates, two more than it held in the previous election. The party, which has 14 Arabs and one Jew among its top fifteen spots, posted big gains after a dramatic increase in voter turnout within the Arab community; and plummeting support for Jewish parties among Arab voters.

Khatib told Israeli media on Tuesday, “I want to talk about our victory. The entire Arab populace unified and knew that there was only one party to vote for. The writing was on the wall that the Joint List was the only party that would be the address for Israeli Arabs. I have no problems with anyone and I believe that we are all people and if we want to, we can live together in peace and harmony.”

Khatib is a social worker by profession and hails from the Galilean town of Yafa an-Naseriyye. She is a mother of four and proud of who she is. She said that being the first woman to wear a Hijab in the Knesset will be “a challenge but it is one that I am ready for. I received a lot of support from my peers. The  negative comments were sidelined and had no effect on me.”

Another new woman on the Joint list, Sondos Salach is the 14th spot on the Joint List and will also enter the Knesset. Salach, a mother of three from Mashhad who teaches Science in a school in Nazareth said: “I get a lot of support from our society. I see a lot of young men and women who wish to see more women serving in politics. The fact that we have more women in our party than most of the other parties, caused a lot of women to vote for us in this election. I support the platform of the Joint List to fight for social justice, equality, and democracy to the society in which we live.”

4 Responses

  1. You count a Druze woman as one of five Muslim women. FYI, Druze are NOT Muslims – they have their own religion.

    an Israeli Yid

  2. Left-wing Israelis have a real quandary now. Do they support the woiman Hijab-wearing MK because she is a woman and an Arab or do they spit on her because she is dressed in a modest way and should not kowtow to the demands of the Muslim faith to dress in such a ridiculous manner? One of life’s real dilemas!

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