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MK Zoabi Faces New Call For Her Ouster Over Call For Intifada

MK Otniel Schneller wants MK Hanin Zoabi stripped of her immunity for calling for a third intifada against the Jewish state.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 4/13/2011, 10:45 PM / Last Update: 4/14/2011, 1:13 AM

Flash 90

Hot on the heels of MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) calling for a third intifada in an Israeli paper on Wednesday, MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) has called for her ouster.

Zoabi's remarks are not surprising. Last July Zoabi said a third Arab intifada in Israel was on the horizon.

Today's remarks come almost a exactly a year after she participated in a delegation of Arab MKs who visited Libya. Zoabi also participated in the Gaza "aid" flotilla, which carried no aid, and whose self-proclaimed peace activists tried to lynch the Israeli naval commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara in accordance with international maritime law.

“I hope that [Arabs] will start a large popular struggle that is political and strategic," Zoabi enthused. "Similar to the first Intifada and not the second.”

Zoabi explained, “the second Intifada was more violent, while the first was good. Tahrir Square in Egypt must be the new model for Arab youth – I would like them to initiate a popular struggle against the siege, because occupiers cannot expect to live normal lives.”

In regards to last week's anti-missile attack on an Israeli school bus, which has left one teenager fighting for his life, Zoabi said, "Palestinians were killed before that incident and Palestinians were killed after it. You don't count the dead Palestinians, only the dead Israelis. It is immoral for only the occupier to be seen as the side entitled to lead a normal life."

Zoabi has also welcomed the coming of an Iranian nuclear weapon and decried the concept of a Jewish state as inherently racist. Israel's basic laws proscribes political party's who advocate stipping Israel of its Jewish or Democratic character.

“Zoabi crossed the line a long time ago," Schneller said. "And democratic immunity cannot be allowed to continue to harm the State of Israel and its citizens. “I intend to demand Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Inon probe her statements, and if there has in fact been calls to rebellion – to strip her immunity and try her.”

Zoabi has faced attempts to strip her parliamentary immunity before. Last May, following her trip to visit Muammar Qaddafi, she and the five other MKs who participated in the visit faced a failed attempt by MKs to strip them of their parliamentary immunity and try them for visiting an enemy state.

Less than a month later Zoabi earned the dubious distinction of being a lightning rod for a rare case of Jewish unity when calls to prosecute her for criminal offenses due to her participation in the Gaza "aid" flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara became pervasive. So charged was the reaction that MK Anastasia Michaelli tried to physically remove Zoabi from the rostrum when she next appeared in the plenum.

In that case Zoabi was saved from having her immunity stripped and prosecution by Knesset speaker Reuven "Ruby" Rivlin, who refused to bring the motion to a vote saying a Jew who had done the same thing would not have faced such a move. Instead, the Knesset had to content itself with sanctions.