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Ministerial Committee to Discuss 'Zoabi's Law'

Bill to boot Knesset MKs guilty of incitement during their current terms, if passed, will stop anti-Israel MKs from pro-terror activity.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/29/2014, 8:53 AM

Hanin Zoabi
Hanin Zoabi
Flash 90

The Ministerial Legislative Committee will hold a hearing on a special initiative from Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked Sunday, nicknamed "Zoabi's Law." 

"Zoabi's Law," if passed, will amend existing laws allowing the Knesset's Central Elections Committee to reject the re-application of current MKs for the next Knesset term if they are found guilty of incitement or supporting known terrorist groups. 

The amendment would also allow the Knesset to boot current MKs over incitement - not only before the next elections. 

Shaked told Yediot Aharonoth Sunday that the decision was made to submit an amendment to the bill "out of this absurd situation whereby the Knesset can impose restrictions [on incitement] before the beginning of the Knesset term, but not during an MK's term in office." 

"There is no logic to a system which can nullify the Knesset term of an MK before elections, without having to enact clear rules for his behavior and statements made during his term," she added. 

The law has been nicknamed "Zoabi's Law" after MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad - United Arab List), who alleged last week that the Hamas terrorists responsible for the abduction "are not terrorists," and that the kidnapping of three high school students is a "last resort" for Palestinian Arabs frustrated by their lives. 

A series of legal actions have been initiated against Zoabi for the remarks, with several ministers and MKs arguing that the remarks are a breach of laws banning Knesset members from identifying with terrorists or inciting against Israel.

Zoabi has remained defiant, however, claiming "I did not break any laws. On the contrary - I am fulfilling my moral, human and political duty, the obligation for which I was sent to the Knesset: to fight oppression, and for justice."

Before the last elections, the Central Elections Committee banned Zoabi, under a clause requiring candidates and parties not to work against Israel's character as a Jewish, democratic state. However, the Supreme Court later overturned the decision and allowed Zoabi to run.

Other Arab MKs could also be at risk over the new law, including Deputy Speaker and MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL), who stated just Friday in Hamas-backed Palestine magazine that Hamas "is not a terror organization" and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should be brought to trial for "war crimes."