The High Court of Justice on Tuesday postponed a decision on Balad MK Haneen
Zoabi’s petition decrying the Knesset sanctions against her following her
participation in the Mavi Marmara
blockade-running flotilla in 2010, Israel
Last July, the Knesset Ethics Committee punished Zoabi
for taking part in the Gaza-bound flotilla, forbidding her to take part in all
Knesset discussions until the end of the summer session – a decision Zoabi
called “the decision of an automatic rightwing, racist majority.”
court, convened with the presence of seven judges, completed its hearing on the
matter before postponing its decision. Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon
said during the hearing that the Knesset sanctions were proportionate and did
not cause Zoabi significant harm.
Following the hearing, Zoabi said that
the flotilla was legal and humanitarian, and that she would participate in
similar flotillas should they occur in the future.
Zoabi told the
committee in July that she rejected the complaints as “spiteful,” adding that
she had participated in “legitimate political activities, which are the right of
every citizen, and certainly of a Knesset member.”
“I upheld my right to
political activity and freedom of expression, and did not break the law,” she
The committee wrote that it viewed Zoabi’s participation in the
flotilla as a “very severe” violation.
“Participating in the flotilla –
intended to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, which is part of the armed
conflict between Israel and Hamas – is an action that harms the state’s security
and is illegitimate for a Knesset member,” the committee wrote.
committee also pointed out that this was the second time Zoabi had traveled
abroad without permission and with funding from an outside source.Lahav
Harkov contributed to this report.
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