Zuabi says the IDF were the terrorists on flotilla

Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli: She is a traitor and should be in jail; Zuabi slams Turkel conclusions, investigation methods.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 26, 2011 15:50
2 minute read.
Balad MK Haneen Zuabi

Balad MK haneen zuabi 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski [file])

 
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At a Knesset debate Wednesday on the findings of the Turkel Commission that investigated the handling of the Gaza flotilla, MKs Haneen Zuabi (Balad) and Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) reprised their roles from a June 2 Knesset session when they nearly came to blows.

But this time, Michaeli did not charge the rostrum when Zuabi spoke and Zuabi made a point of leaving the room ahead of Michaeli’s address.

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“The terrorists on the boat were the murderous soldiers,” a defiant Zuabi said. “When an impartial international probe finds this, perhaps it will persuade the unconvinced.”

Zuabi said former Justice Jacob Turkel should not have been appointed to investigate the flotilla, because he had already called the siege legal. She complained that his panel did not ask for an 1.5-hour videotape taken by the organizers of the flotilla.

“The Israeli commission cannot come in place of an impartial international inquiry,” she said.

Zuabi was backed up by other Arab MKs.



Hadash chairman Muhammad Barakei said the commission was intended as a “lame alibi” to justify the killing of nine Turks on board the Mavi Marmara.

“The government is guilty of killing nine people and a crime against a ship delivering humanitarian goods to Gaza,” Barakei said.

“The government sent an armed army to a ship that came to Gaza to protest its policies.”

United Arab List MK Taleb a-Sanaa called upon Michaeli to apologize for what he called her “brutal behavior” against Zuabi.

“No committee can clean the bloody hands of the people responsible for the deaths,” he said.

Michaeli said that on Tuesday, she asked Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein to open an investigation into Zuabi’s participation in the flotilla.

“She is not here because she is scared to look in my eyes,” Michaeli said. “No one asks you to be Chana Zehavi [a Hebrew version of Zuabi’s name], but we do ask you to be loyal to the state you are supposed to be serving. You are not a freedom fighter. You are a traitor. You should be in jail and not in the Knesset.”

Michaeli then repeated her last statements in Arabic and Russian. She was backed up by lawmakers on the Right, who also condemned Zuabi.

“Her only goal is destroying Israel,” Likud MK Ophir Akunis said. “I will work to prevent her from being allowed to run for Knesset.”

Habayit Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev said the United Nations’ investigation could not be trusted because it had “an anti-Semitic majority.” He said he hoped that in every confrontation between IDF soldiers and terrorists, the result would be nine terrorists dead and no soldiers dead.”

new homeland security minister matan vilna’i (independence), who represented the government at the debate, said the goal of the flotilla was to open a supply line to the gaza strip, which he called the world’s biggest terror base. he promised to implement the lessons of the faulty intelligence ahead of the incident.

The MKs then voted 11 to six against continuing a debate on the commission’s findings at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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