PM Netanyahu has asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation against Knesset member Haneen Zoabi of the Joint Arab List for incitement to violence.
This isn’t the first time that the Attorney General is investigating Zoabi, the first and only female Arab Israeli Knesset member, because of her anti-Israel statements and actions.
In 2010 Zoabi participated in the Gaza flotilla and was on the ship when Israeli commandos boarded it under attack, killing nine and wounding dozens. In the Knesset Zoabi called the raid a “pirate military operation” and asked for an international investigation. She was stripped of the right to participate in Knesset discussions and to vote in parliamentary committees.
In 2012 she was almost banned from running for election in the 2013 elections for Knesset, but the rulings against her were overturned by the High Court of Justice.
In 2013, five days after the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Zoabi said, “Is it strange that people living under occupation and living impossible lives, in a situation where Israel kidnaps new prisoners every day, is it strange that they kidnap? They are not terrorists. Even if I do not agree with them, they are people who do not see any way to change their reality, and they are compelled to use means like these.”
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered an investigation of Zoabi on charges of incitement and public disgrace. She was suspended from the Knesset plenum for a duration of six months.
The PM’s current case against Zoabi is based primarily on this statement made by her that was quoted in the Hamas newspaper over the weekend:
“Hundreds of thousands of worshippers must ascend to Al-Aqsa to stand against the Israeli plot to allow the blood of East Jerusalem residents to be spilled,” one of the quotes said. Another quote stated that if “thousands of [our] people turn out, these incidents will turn into a real intifada.”
For the sake of democracy, Israel has accepted the presence of Arab Knesset members who seem to act against the best interests of the State. But inciting violence against Israelis is unacceptable. It might also be criminal.
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