MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) renewed calls Wednesday to strip MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) of her parliamentary immunity after she was quoted in a local newspaper as calling on Palestinians to start a third intifada.
Zoabi told a reporter that “I hope [the Palestinians] will start a large popular struggle that is political and strategic, similar to the first intifada and not the second.” She explained that “the second intifada was more violent, while the first was good. Tahrir Square in Egypt must be the new model for Arab youth – I would like them to initiate a popular struggle against the siege, because occupiers cannot expect to live normal lives.”
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In response, Schneller said Zoabi should be stripped of her parliamentary immunity and put on trial for calling for rebellion.
“Zoabi crossed the line a long time ago, and democratic immunity cannot be allowed to continue to harm the State of Israel and its citizens,” he complained. “I intend to demand that Knesset legal advisor Eyal Inon probe her statements, and if there have in fact been calls to rebellion, to strip her immunity and try her.”
Zoabi is no stranger to controversy.
Last May, following a trip to Libya, she and five additional MKs faced fruitless attempts by other lawmakers to strip them of their parliamentary immunity and try them for visiting an enemy state.
Less than a month later, Zoabi was the subject of even greater controversy following her participation in the Gaza flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara.
Then, as well, MKs called for her prosecution, but made do with parliamentary sanctions imposed by the Knesset House Committee.