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Leftist MK on Zoabi: Sometimes It's Best to Keep Quiet

MK Dov Henin of the Communist Hadash party joins those criticizing MK Zoabi for justifying the kidnapping of three students.
By Shimon Cohen and Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/19/2014, 5:13 AM

MK Dov Henin
MK Dov Henin
Flash 90

MK Dov Henin of the far-left Communist Hadash party has joined those criticizing MK Hanin Zoabi for her comments justifying the kidnapping of three yeshiva students by Hamas.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, Henin said, when asked about Zoabi’s statements, that there are times that it is best to remain quiet and not speak out.

"There are times when it is best to keep quiet. There are times when one needs to be calm, and not lead in the direction of extremism and militancy," he said, adding that at stressful times it is important to be responsible when speaking out and not take the opportunity to make more and more extreme statements.

Henin stressed that he strongly opposed involvement of innocent civilians in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. He added that the three kidnapped teenagers must be released “because that is the correct and moral thing to do.”

MK Henin joins a long line of MKs, from left to right, who have condemned Zoabi for her comments. Zoabi’s comments on the kidnapping came in a radio interview, in which she stated that the "kidnappers are not terrorists" and that the kidnapping is a "last resort" for Palestinian Arabs frustrated by their lives.

"They are not terrorists, I do not agree with you!" Zoabi fired. "They have seen no other way to change their reality and they have to resort to these measures until Israel sobers up a bit and feels the suffering of others."

Zoabi’s party, Balad, backed her comments on Tuesday and blamed “the Israeli occupation” for the increase in violence, but Labor chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog wrote a letter to Balad on Wednesday, in which he said he viewed Zoabi’s statements "with the utmost severity".

On Tuesday, MK Hilik Bar of Labor denounced Zoabi’s comments, saying it was not the first time she had crossed the line.

Culture Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) announced that she intends to turn to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into Zoabi’s remarks, while Tourism Minister Uzi Landau of Yisrael Beytenu denounced Zoabi as “an ambassador of terrorism.”

Zoabi herself, meanwhile, defended her remarks Wednesday, stating that her views were already "well-known" and that she will not be thrown from the Knesset.