Israel’s parliament bars a terror-supporting member from running in the upcoming elections.
Israel’s Central Elections Committee ruled Thursday that Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoabi is disqualified from running in the upcoming elections, based on her anti-Israel and pro-terror actions and rhetoric.
An overwhelming 27 members of the 33-member Central Elections Committee voted in favor of banning Zoabi from the elections, citing a law that prohibits candidates from running for seats in the Knesset if they reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incite to racism, or incite to armed conflict against the country.
Zoabi has already announced she will appeal the High Court of Justice on the matter. Zoabi was disqualified on the same grounds in the last round of elections, and the High Court of Justice overturned the Committee’s decision. It is expected to do the same thing this time around.
Sharon Gal, a journalist and candidate with the Israel Beitenu party, who presented his party’s petition to ban Zoabi from running, pointed out that when he interviewed her she said that the Hamas terrorists who murdered the three Israeli teens last summer were “not terrorists.”
“Zoabi crossed every line. She supports terrorism in words and in actions, when she joined the [2010 Gaza] flotilla on the Mavi Marmara,” he said. “The time has come to relay a clear message to those who support terrorism: They cannot test the borders of freedom of expression and cannot raise a hand against IDF soldiers.”
MK Yariv Levin of the Likud party cited Zoabi’s “amazing accumulation of activity supporting terrorism, including writing an article on a Hamas website during Protective Edge, meeting with [former Arab MK and fugitive for espionage against Israel] Azmi Bishara at that time, participating in illegal demonstrations and rejecting Israel as Jewish and democratic.”
“Don’t play dumb or try to manipulate the facts,” Levin added. “She refused to apologize for what she said about the three teens or for threatening Shadi Haloul [an activist for Christian Arabs’ enlistment in the IDF].”
Anywhere but the Knesset
Zoabi appeared to be enjoying the proceedings, chuckling at the opening of her remarks and stating, “I don’t really understand why I’m here.”
“Me neither,” Gal retorted. “You belong in jail!”
“There is no legitimate, legal basis to disqualify me, as was made clear by the attorney general and previous High Court decisions on attempts to unseat me as a representative of the Arab public,” Zoabi declared. She continued to accuse Israel of racism and declared her Palestinian identity.
“Those who do not condemn the murder of hundreds of children in Gaza are supporters of terror,” she said. “What bothers those who seek to ban me from running is the fact that I am a Palestinian and want to continue being a Palestinian, even in the Knesset.”
“Zoabi doesn’t even belong in the Palestinian Authority, rather she should be with the Hamas terrorists in Gaza,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said after the committee’s decision. He expressed hope that the High Court will not overturn the decision and “will not allow a supporter of terrorists on the Marmara to run in an election for the Knesset of the Jewish State.”
By: United with Israel Staff
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