ISRAEL - First Hijab-Wearing Lawmaker

Arno Froese

A female Muslim lawmaker from Israel’s Arab minority is set to become the first in parliament to wear a hijab, or head scarf, after Arab parties won their largest ever showing in [the] election.

Iman Yassin Khatib, 55, won a place on the Joint List coalition’s slate of 15 seats in the 120-member Knesset.

The party draws most of its votes from Israel's 21% Arab minority—who are Palestinian by heritage but Israeli by citizenship.

The mother of four served as the manager of a community center in the Galilee village of Yafat an-Nasreh on the outskirts of Nazareth, the city where Jesus grew up, before entering national politics.

“There is no way (the hijab) won’t capture people’s attention. But what’s more important is what is inside: the ability and potential to advance our community,” said Khatib as she accepted congratulations and posed for selfies on a street in Nazareth.

“Every challenge I faced in my life was made harder because I wear a hijab,” she said. But she urged people to “look beyond the veil.”

“There is a growing awareness amongst Arab women that we can be active participants in our future,” said Khatib.

“My message to young women: there is a possibility. There is a way. Don’t limit your hopes and dreams.”

-www.jpost.com, 6 March 2020

Arno's commentary

This is most unusual, not only because Iman Yassin Khatib is now an official member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), but she publicly exhibits her religion by wearing the veil. It is fulfillment of Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “…will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed, or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Moreover, it is noteworthy that Israeli citizens cannot obtain citizenship, in virtually all Arab and Muslim-dominated nations. 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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