TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is working to oust Arab Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi after the latter caused bedlam in the Knesset by calling Israeli soldiers “murderers.”
“With her actions and lies she crossed every line and she has no place in the Knesset,” Netanyahu said Wednesday, adding that he spoke with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to consider advancing the process of expelling the Joint List MK.
Speaking during a plenum discussing the Jerusalem-Ankara reconciliation deal earlier in the day, Zoabi said that the IDF commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara flotilla six years ago were “murderers.” She herself sailed in solidarity with the flotilla which was headed for Gaza under the banner of humanitarian aid. Many of the activists on board were armed with axes, knives, and steel bars which were used to attack the IDF commandos when they boarded the flotilla to stop it from running the blockade.
Zoabi asserted that Israel’s compensation of $21 million for the families of the dead Turkish activists is a “murder confession” by the Jewish state that it was in the wrong and as such should apologize to the “political activists” who were aboard the flotilla. She also demanded that Israel apologize to her for “inciting against me for six years.”
A brawl ensued, with MKs swarming the podium. Zoabi can be heard shouting, “Come hit me! Come hit me!”
Watch a video of the altercation below.
Three complaints calling for Zoabi’s suspension were filed in the Knesset’s Ethics Committee.
“Hanin Zoabi has, and not for the first time, crossed the line separating legitimate free speech which can sometimes be painful, and incitement against IDF soldiers, whom she characterized as ‘murderers,’ ” wrote MK Amir Ohana (Likud), who was the first to file.
“This depravity cannot go unanswered,” Ohana continued. “The Ethics Committee must put in place the harshest sanctions against Zoabi allowed by law, and to do so as quickly as possible to highlight the severity of this matter. And no less important: We will find a way to distance this terror supporter from the Knesset – and I expect my peers from all of the parties who condemned Zoabi’s incitement to join this effort and not to stop with mere condemnations.”
Coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) also urged that Zoabi be expelled from the Knesset.
“We need to all unify, regardless of politics, to remove only one MK from the Knesset. MK Haneen Zoabi. We need to do so even if it will be a specific law for that Knesset member,” he said.
Nahman Shai (Zionist Union) and Nava Boker (Likud) followed suit by filing additional complaints.
The Mavi Marmara incident caused Turkey to sever ties with Israel in 2010. On Tuesday, the two countries signed a reconciliation deal.
Watch a video of the Turkish “activists” on board the ship attacking the IDF commandos: