Labor MK Hilik Bar on Tuesday evening sharply criticized the comments by MK Hanin Zoabi, who earlier in the day expressed support for Hamas's kidnapping of three yeshiva students.
Speaking with Israeli teenagers who visited the Knesset, Bar said that Zoabi has crossed the line - and not for the first time.
"Unfortunately Hanin Zoabi is consistently confused as to her location, behavior, and as to the question of which country she is in and in which parliament she is sitting. There is a line and she has crossed it over and over again,” he said.
"On the one hand, one must always respect freedom of expression, but on the other hand, saying that the kidnappers are ‘not terrorists’ and thus implying that the abduction is justified is very serious, vicious, incompetent, foolish and bordering on stupidity, and showing a lack of basic understanding of what is legitimate and not legitimate to say,” Bar continued.
"To me her remarks are serious and extreme, and are indicative of extremism which raises many questions about her place in Israeli public life in general and in particular in public leadership," added MK Bar.
“Unfortunately Zoabi is completely disconnected from the Israeli experience,” he said. “Her words do not add respect, not to her, not to the Knesset and not to Israeli Arabs whom she supposedly represents, and it would have been good if the remarks were not made at all. I say all this as someone who belongs to the center-left camp which wants peace and as someone who thinks Israeli Arabs are an important and integral part of our being.”
Following Zoabi’s comments, Culture Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) announced that she intends to turn to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into the remarks and whether they can be classified as an offense under Section 144 of the Penal Code against "incitement to violence of terror."
MKs Shimon Ohayon and Orly Levy-Abekasis (Yisrael Beytenu) have also sought legal action against Zoabi, and filed a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee Tuesday afternoon over her remarks.
Zoabi is infamous for provocative speeches, including one in which she said that Israel has “no right to a normal life” and a later address claiming that “the Israeli occupation” was behind the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria. Recently, she declared that Israel should "thank her" for allowing Jews to live in the Jewish State.