Lieberman: Time to Jail 'Terrorist' MK Zoabi

Foreign minister urges law enforcement to act against lawmaker who equated Israeli pilots with Islamic State.

Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi attending a rally in Haifa against the Israeli military operation in Gaza, July 18, 2014, surrounded by police.
Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi attending a rally in Haifa against the Israeli military operation in Gaza, July 18, 2014. Credit: Rami Shllush

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said that "terrorist" MK Haneen Zoabi should be jailed and called on Israeli law enforcement to take action against her.

Lieberman's remarks come a day after Zoabi, not one to shy from controversy, equated Israeli army pilots with Islamic State terrorists.

"The law must be used to put the terrorist – there is no other word for it – the terrorist Haneen Zoabi in jail for many years," Lieberman told Israel Radio.

He also said that Zoabi should have stayed in Qatar when she visited over the summer. "There is no reason she should be here in Israel or have Israeli citizenship," he said.

"She can also live in Gaza. As a single woman, dressed the way she dresses, she will feel very comfortable in the company of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I am just looking forward to law enforcement's action."

Zoabi on Sunday told Channel 2 Online that an Israeli pilot “is no less a terrorist than a person who takes a knife and commits a beheading.”

She said she believes that “both are armies of murderers, they have no boundaries and no red lines.”

“In Iraq and Syria they have their picture taken with a knife and here they have their picture taken with dead bodies and with their bombardments and they also laugh,” she said. “The M-16 and the bombardments kill more than a knife.”

Her remarks drew harsh responses from fellow Israeli lawmakers, including Likud MK Miri Regev, who said, "Zoabi is a dangerous enemy of the Israeli public who should not be in the Knesset." Regev also said Zoabi's "incitement are as grave as the acts of a terrorist who harms innocents."

Zoabi's remarks are "nothing more than cheap provocation," said Labor MK Itzik Shmuli, who added that this was not an issue of left-wing versus right-wing views. Zoabi is "a fundamentalist Israel-hater who knows how to take full advantage of Israeli democracy."

Lieberman also intends to try, once again, to disqualify Zoabi's Balad from running for Knesset.

“The Balad party has turned into an arm of Hamas," Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page. "It aids it while using the Knesset to promote terrorism, and taking advantage of its Knesset members' parliamentary immunity.”

"After its previous leader, Azmi Bishara, fled the country because he was suspected of espionage against Israel and assisting Hezbollah," Lieberman wrote, "Balad members continue their activity against the state."

Fellow Balad MK Basel Ghattas also joined the fray on Monday, saying the Islamic State is murderous and cruel, but that unlike the IDF it has not committed crimes against humanity.

"Israel is the one that has the ability to commit crimes against humanity," Ghattas told Army Radio on Monday morning.

"Even [Defense Minister Moshe] Ya'alon said that they shelled Shejaiya ruthlessly to prevent the abduction of a soldier. That quote will bring Ya'alon before prosecutors at the Hague," he said, referring to a Gaza neighborhood that was hard hit during this summer's war between Israel and Hamas.

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