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Knesset Speaker: Sorry, I Can't Fire MK Zoabi

MK Edelstein explains to Israelis infuriated by Arab MK's provocations that he has no way of dismissing her.
By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/22/2014, 3:48 PM

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Flash 90

Knesset Chairman MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud-Beytenu) told his Facebook followers Monday that he has no way of dismissing MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from the Knesse, despite her provocative statements regarding the abduction of three yeshiva boys 10 days ago.

"I want to respond to the numerous comments and questions that you have addressed to me about MK Zoabi,” he wrote. “You must all understand that as Knesset Speaker, I do not have the tools for dismissing a Knesset Member over his words or actions, severe as they may be.”

"The struggle against MK Zoabi and similar cases is mostly conducted through public campaigns, and among other things – by creating a solid wall between her and her likes, and the general Arab sector in Israel.

MK Zoabi said in the Knesset and the press that the abduction of three yeshiva students in Gush Etzion is not an act of terror, and refused to define the abductors as terrorists.

Zoabi also accused Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (“Abu Mazen”) of “treason” on Saturday, in an interview with Channel 2. “Abu Mazen's goal is to strengthen his regime,” Zoabi said. “Abu Mazen's security coordination with Israel is treason against the Palestinian people.”

Zoabi refused to apologize for her earlier statements to the effect that the teenager's abductors are not terrorists, saying only that she supports the struggle against Israel as long as it remains “within the limits of human morality.”