Severe reprimand for Arab MK Hanin Zoabi

Knesset Ethics Committee issues sanctions for conduct of MKs during plenum brouhaha following inflammatory comments by Hanin Zoabi.

Hezki Baruch & Shai Landesman,

Hanin Zoabi
Hanin Zoabi
Flash 90

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided today (Monday) on the punishment of a severe reprimand for MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) for her inflammatory comments in a plenum debate around a month ago regarding the rapprochement deal with Turkey.

Zoabi started a brouhaha in the Knesset when she "celebrated" the Turkey deal, which included the payment of reparations to the families of the terrorists from the Mavi Marmara, the flagship of the flotilla that tried to break the Gaza blockade in 2009, resulting in IDF navy soldiers boarding the ship, only to be attacked with metal rods and knives, forcing them to open fire and kill 9 people on the ship.

MK Zoabi, who was aboard the flotilla, said in the Knesset plenum debate that Israel's signing of the deal is an "admission of guilt of murder."

The Ethics Committee notes that nine MKs had filed many complaints against Zoabi after she called IDF soldiers "murderers".

Zoabi, for her part, filed complaints of her own, mainly against MK Oren Hazan who she claims yelled "offensive" things at her.

Hazan earned his own severe reprimand for this conduct, after he "undoubtedly was the one who instigated the commotion in the plenum and continued to fan the flames, breaking all acceptable codes of behavior," according to the committee.

MKs Mickey Levy, Nava Boker, Hilik Bar and Aliza Lavi were given a "comment" - the lowest grade of Ethics Committee sanction - for their conduct during the debate.

MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), responded to the committee's ruling, saying that "the slander of IDF soldiers and incitement against them cannot be part of the parliamentary freedom of speech of any MK. I have not intention of apologizing for protecting the honor and name of IDF troops and officers.

"As an MK and a citizen of this country I couldn't accept the evil words said by a terror-supporting Knesset Member from the Knesset podium against the IDF; and this while IDF pilots and officers are sitting in the gallery and listening to her. I couldn't do anything other than react aggressively and decisively in order to stop her speech immediately and not allow this Israel-hatred to continue from the Knesset podium, slandering our children who are serving in the IDF," Levy added.

He continued: "This is an untenable situation and it needed to be stopped. Seeing as the Speaker at the debate didn't stop her immediately and send her down from the podium, I acted on my own bone-deep conviction to stop her and protect the soldiers, as I saw fit.

"Though I do regret having to approach the podium out of turn, I have not intention to apologize."




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