Balad MK Haneen Zoabi 370.
(photo credit: ILENE PRUSHER)
MK Danny Danon (Likud) submitted a petition with 11,000 signatures on Tuesday to
disqualify the Balad party from running for the next Knesset.
leaders of Israeli Arabs want to continue taking advantage of Israeli democracy
in order to harm the country,” Danon said.
“In 2006, former [Balad] MK
Azmi Bishara betrayed his country from Hezbollah. In 2010 [Balad] MK Haneen
Zoabi betrayed her country for another terror organization [participating in the
Gaza flotilla, aboard the Mavi Marmara].”
Shortly after the upcoming
election was called in October, Danon put a petition on his website to
disqualify Zoabi from running.
In the past seven weeks, the Likud MK has
gathered 11,000 signatures.
Article 7a of the Basic Law: The Knesset says
that a party list or an individual candidate cannot reject Israel as a Jewish
and democratic state, incite to violence or support armed combat by an enemy
state or terror organization against the State of Israel.
Danon, the law protects democracy from people like Zoabi, who “belongs in prison
and not in parliament.”
“There’s no difference between the words and
actions of an Islamic Jihad member from Khan Yunis and those of Zoabi,” he
On Sunday, Likud representative to the Central Elections Committee
MK Ophir Akunis gathered the requisite signatures from 13 out of 36 committee
members to petition for Zoabi’s disqualification. According to Akunis, there is
a majority to prevent her from running.
Also this week, Yisrael Beytenu
representative to the Central Elections Committee MK David Rotem, as well as
National Union MKs Arieh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari (who have moved to the Strong
Israel faction) submitted requests to disqualify Balad.
by the Central Elections Committee as to which parties or individuals are
disqualified will be released on December 23, one month before the election. The
High Court of Justice can overturn decisions until January 1.
the committee has disqualified parties and individuals in recent years,
including Balad and United Arab List-Ta’al in 2009, the High Court of Justice
has overturned all such decisions, except for Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1988 and his
Kach party in 1992.
Zoabi expressed confidence earlier this week that the
High Court will not allow her or her party’s possible disqualification to stand.
If it does, it will have granted legitimacy to turning Israel into a “totally
fascist regime,” she said.
“This is the time to choose between fascism
and democracy, and for whoever does not want citizens to have free elections, I
am one of many targets in a chain of eliminations,” Zoabi said, adding that only
“dark regimes” can be proud of disqualifying candidates.
Should she be
forbidden to run for the 19th Knesset, a red line would be crossed, she stated:
“There’s an automatic majority in the Knesset for fascism.”
Zoabi submitted a complaint against Danon to the Attorney-General’s Office,
saying his petition is illegal incitement that violates her democratic right to
run for office.