Student files complaint against Zoabi, Lieberman may do likewise

Student files complaint against Zoabi, Lieberman may do likewise

Arab MK under fire for saying Israel does not have the right to defend itself

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Arab-Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi. (photo credit: Omer Miron/Flash90)
Arab-Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi. (photo credit: Omer Miron/Flash90)

A student from Sderot has filed a complaint with the Israel Police against Arab MK Hanin Zoabi for incitement to violence, Maariv reported on Monday, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is expected to follow suit in the Knesset.

In an interview televised on Channel 2 on Saturday, Zoabi said that Israel, as a country occupying the West Bank and Gaza, has no right to use force to defend itself. She said, “[Israel] is not allowed to live in security; an occupying nation has no right to normal lives.” Moreover, Zoabi insisted she “has nothing good to say about Israel whatsoever.”

Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday bashed Zoabi for her statements, which he called “intolerable” and “hateful toward the Jewish people,” Yedioth Ahronoth reported. He announced his intent to file an official complaint against her with the Knesset’s Ethics Committee.

Hadar Bar-On, a 25-year-old student at Sapir College in Sderot, has already filed a complaint with the police, arguing that the outspoken Balad party MK was inciting violence against Jews. “I cannot live in safety here when extremist expressions like these are given a stage,” Bar-On told Maariv.

The complaint is currently being evaluated by the Israel Police’s legal department. Bar-On posted her complaint form on Facebook and it has garnered widespread support.

Some Israeli Arabs quickly denounced Zoabi. Globes reported on Monday that in talkbacks on its website, many Israeli Arabs said that although she is an Arab MK, “she does not represent the entirety of the Israeli Arab public.”

Since her election to the Knesset in 2009, Zoabi has become a lightning rod of public condemnation for her outspoken criticism of the State of Israel. On a recent visit to Hebron, settlers there called her a terrorist, a dog, and a traitor. 

Zoabi rejects the idea of a Jewish state, has called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman, and opposition leader Tzipi Livni fascists, and was aboard the Mavi Marmara during the May 2010 flotilla incident.

In decades past, members of Zoabi’s family were members of the cabinet and the Haganah). Today, she told Channel 2’s Danny Kushmaro at the weekend, that “it is time for the depressed Palestinian to raise his head.”


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