Joint List candidate poised to become the first hijab-wearing MK
search

Joint List candidate poised to become the first hijab-wearing MK

Ra’am’s Iman Khatib-Yassin, 15th on Arab-led slate, says that she ‘especially wants to raise the voice of women’

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Iman Khatib Yassin, Israeli-Arab politician representing the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in the Joint List electoral alliance, holds up her hand as she stands next to Ofer Cassif, Jewish member and candidate for the Hadash party within the alliance, as they stand before supporters at their electoral headquarters in Israel's northern city of Shfaram on March 2, 2020, after polls officially closed. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
Iman Khatib Yassin, Israeli-Arab politician representing the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in the Joint List electoral alliance, holds up her hand as she stands next to Ofer Cassif, Jewish member and candidate for the Hadash party within the alliance, as they stand before supporters at their electoral headquarters in Israel's northern city of Shfaram on March 2, 2020, after polls officially closed. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Iman Khatib-Yassin appeared to be poised on Tuesday to secure a spot in the Knesset and become the first hijab-wearing Knesset lawmaker in Israel’s history, as preliminary election results showed her Joint List party surging to 15 seats.

Khatib-Yassin holds the 15th slot on the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-led factions. She is a member of Ra’am, which is affiliated with the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and has never had a female representative in the Knesset.

The Arraba native is 55, married and a mother to three sons and a daughter.

Before running for Knesset, she worked as the head of a community center in Yafa an-Naseriyye, located in the Lower Galilee, where she now lives, for 14 years.

In a video published on the Joint List Facebook page in February, Khatib-Yassin said she “especially wants to raise the voice of women” as well as that of vulnerable and marginalized persons and “our youth.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree at Haifa University in social work and a master’s degree at Tel Aviv University in women’s affairs.

(L to R) Joint List candidates Ofer Cassif, Heba Yazbak, Mtanes Shehadeh, Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, Aida Touma-Suleiman and Iman Khatib-Yassin appear before supporters at the alliance’s campaign headquarters in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth on September 17, 2019, as the first exit polls are announced on television. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Khatib-Yassin is slated to become one of four female lawmakers from the Joint List, if current projections hold up.

She also ran for Knesset on Ra’am-Balad’s slate in April 2019 and the Joint List in the September 2019, but did not win a seat in the 120-member parliament.

Israel has held an unprecedented three national elections in the past year.

In the video, she said she was impacted significantly by the events of March 30, 1976, in which security forces shot dead six Arab Israelis during mass demonstrations against plans to confiscate land in the Galilee.

Arab Israelis refer to those events as Land Day and commemorate them annually in different parts of Israel.

“All of the events of Land Day happened in front of me and one of the martyrs who was killed during Land Day was my cousin,” she said. “The events of Land Day are my first political memory, which is still strong today.”

read more:
comments