Ministers Blast MK Zoabi for 'Supporting Terrorists’

The Israeli Arab parliamentarian's refusal to brand the kidnappers terrorists' prompted some MKs to demand her citizenship be rescinded.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
MK Haneen Zoabi has been assigned a security guard following a wave of threats after she criticized Israel's reaction to trhe kidnapping in Gush Etzion.Credit: Tomer Noiberg
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) caused a storm on Wednesday when she told a radio interviewer that those who kidnapped three teenagers in Gush Etzion last week “are not terrorists.”

“Even if I don’t agree with them, they are people who don’t see any way to change their reality and are forced to use these means until Israel sobers up a bit,” she told Radio Tel Aviv.

Later yesterday, at a meeting of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, committee chairman Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) asked how she could have dared say such a thing and Zoabi lashed back, saying, “Arrogant! Shut your mouth. You don’t deserve to be a committee chairman. What are you, a policeman? You’re a racist!”

At the same time, three youths from Nazareth were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of threatening a relative of theirs, who is also related to Zoabi, for expressing support for the kidnapped boys.

In response to Zoabi’s remarks, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called her a terrorist, adding, “The fate of the kidnappers and the fate of Zoabi, who incites and encourages the terrorists, ought to be the same.”

In a Facebook post, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel also slammed Zoabi. “Haneen Zoabi continues her consistent tradition of supporting terrorists and proving that she isn’t worthy of being a citizen of the State of Israel, let alone a Knesset member,” said Ariel, adding that such a situation “wouldn’t be acceptable in any democratic country in the world.”

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) concurred, saying that Zoabi should be removed from the Knesset. “Haneen Zoabi continues to be a Hamas collaborator, and her citizenship should be rescinded,” she said. “Unfortunately, her subversive behavior against the State of Israel has the approval of the Supreme Court. This requires some introspection on the part the justice system.”