MK Hanin Zoabi, who was banned from Knesset’s plenum debates, fails to get decision overturned with Justices ruling the Disciplinary action was proper in light of apparent ethics violations of her sympathizing with terrorists, & calling for popular uprising.
By Edna Adato & Gideon Allon
A five-judge panel at the High Court of Justice rejected Wednesday a petition to reinstate Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi’s Knesset privileges.
MK Hanin Zoabi says ethics panel was wrong to ban her from plenum debate – Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
In July, the Knesset Ethics Committee banned Zoabi from the Knesset plenum after she made a string of controversial statements in support of terrorism. Although she can still vote on bills, she cannot take part in floor debates. She is also banned from Knesset committee hearings. The ban in effect until Jan. 29, 2015.
Zoabi, a Balad MK, is a controversial figure. In 2010, she participated in the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla that was intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by the Israeli Navy. In June, when three Israeli teens were missing and believed to be held hostage by Palestinians, she defended the perpetrators, saying they should not be called “terrorists” (the teens’ bodies were discovered less than two weeks later, having been executed by their captors). After Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer, she authored an online essay advocating popular resistance and a siege on Israel.
A majority of justices — Miriam Naor, Elyakim Rubinstein, Esther Hayut and Hanan Melcer — upheld the ethics panel decision. “We saw no compelling reason to second guess the Ethics Committee, as it enjoys a wide latitude in such decisions,” they wrote. Justice Salim Joubran dissented.
Following the ruling, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said he was “glad the decision put an end to the ridiculous accusations of political persecution.” Likud MK Danny Danon echoed Edelstein, saying, “This is the first step towards having Zoabi see the Knesset from the outside.” Likud MK Miri Regev said she planned to “continue being the gatekeeper on behalf of the public so that such outrageous and dangerous statements are not made.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22067