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MK Zoabi Called 'Embarrassment,' 'Traitor' in Stormy Session

Angry MKs call their fellow parliamentarian Hanin Zoabi an “embarrassment” and “a traitor” in session weighing revocation of her immunity.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/13/2010, 8:38 PM / Last Update: 7/13/2010, 8:45 PM

Israel news photo

"You don't belong in the Israeli Knesset, you don't deserve to hold an Israeli ID card. You're an embarrassment to the citizens of Israel, to the Arab community, and to your family,” MK Yariv Levin, head of the Knesset's House Committee, said Tuesday night.

His words were directed at MK Hanin Zoabi of the Arab Balad party, who faces the possible revocation of her parliamentary immunity after taking part in a flotilla that defied Israel's naval blockade of Hamas.

MK Anastasia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) had harsh criticism for Zoabi as well. Michaeli recalled Zoabi's statement in 2009 that she would welcome an Iranian nuclear bomb, and her support two years earlier for the “Haifa Proclamation,” a document signed by several Israeli-Arab organizations that called to strip Israel of its Jewish character.

"She is a traitor and a coward,” Michaeli declared as Zoabi left the hall. “She doesn't want to hear these proceedings.”

During the Knesset debate, Zoabi said her actions in defiance of the state put democratic principles into action. “I am a member of Knesset and I have the right to fight for the Arabs and for my positions,” she said.

"I don't represent Kadima, Labor or Likud. I am an MK with the Balad party. I represent a consensus of Arab members of Knesset, which reflects a consensus in my sector of society,” she continued.

Zoabi accused her fellow MKs of “racism and incitement.”