Zoabi Writes Letter of Apology to Usher

MK Hanin Zoabi sent a formal letter of apology to the Knesset usher she assaulted last week, but could not see fit to apologize in person.

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Gabe Kahn., | updated: 20:01

MK Zoabi
MK Zoabi
Israel news photo: Flash 90


MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) on Tuesday sent a letter of apology to the Knesset usher she shoved last week when she erupted into a rage in the plenum during a Knesset discussion of the anti-boycott bill. Zoabi was seen swinging her arms as ushers escorted her out.

"Following the incident on Wednesday, 13 July 2011, I am sending you this personal letter," Zoabi wrote. "Firstly, I would like to emphasize that I apologize to you if during the incident I hurt you in any way."

In the letter Zoabi claimed she was so out of control that she was not aware of her own actions rather than taking personal responsibility for them.

"I wasn't aware and it wasn't my intention to push or hurt you. I only tried to free myself and I have respect for you and for your work," Zoabi wrote.

"I do not have and have never had any complaints about you. My clarifications and apologies were immediately and widely published after the incident, [which] I did of my free will and without anybody asking me to do so," Zoabi added.

Zoabi did not see fit to apologize in person to the usher she assaulted.

The Knesset House committee convened Tuesday to discuss the incident and revaled it was the reason Zoabi wrote the letter in the first place.

"We received Zoabi's apologies. We asked her to apologize so that the incident doesn't repeat itself," Head of the Knesset Workers Union Haim Ayavi said during the meeting.

Ayavi added, "We view her apology as the end of the affair."

Knesset House Committee Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) addressed the committee: "Knesset Members are not above the law and such behavior dishonors the Knesset and disturbs us all."

Also speaking at the special committee session was MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu), who accused Zoabi of brutality and called for her to be tried in court.

"MK Zoabi tried to bring the violent spirit of the [Mavi] Marmara to the Knesset plenum," Miller said. "She acted violently and with brutality toward Knesset ushers and therefore she should stand trial as if she attacked a police officer in the line of duty."

Zoabi received two weeks restriction from making speeches in the plenum for the incident.