AG Weinstein: Zoabi Shouldn't Be Barred From Knesset Run

There is no evidence that the firebrand Balad MK had supported an armed struggle against Israel, attorney general says.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Haneen Zoabi.
Haneen Zoabi.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday said he opposes disqualifying MK Haneen Zoabi from running for the Knesset, following two petitions submitted to the Central Election Committee aimed at barring her.

Weinstein made his position clear to the Central Election Committee after Zoabi (Balad) submitted a signed affidavit explaining remarks she made that prompted the requests to disqualify her.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Weinstein's position is based on case law, which only bars candidates from elections under exceptional circumstances and extreme cases in which the "ordinary tools of a robust democratic society" are inadequate.

Weinstein said there was no clear proof that Zoabi had supported an armed struggle against Israel or tried to abolish Israel's Jewish and democratic character. "An overall review of MK Zoabi's activities, as presented in her affidavit, shows that her harsh and disconcerting comments do not constitute the dominant or central part of her activities as a lawmaker," Weinstein wrote. "The requests to disqualify MK Zoabi from the 20th Knesset should be rejected."

Zoabi, in her affidavit, said she has never supported an armed struggle against Israel, responding to requests seeking to disqualify her candidacy in the March 17 election due to statements allegedly hostile to the state.

“I have never called for support of an armed struggle,” Zoabi said. “I have never supported an armed struggle. I have never written an article supporting an armed struggle, and I have never given a speech supporting such a struggle.”

Balad is running on the Joint List ticket made up of Arab parties and the Arab-Jewish Hadash party.

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