MK Haneen Zoabi speaks to the media as she enters a hearing at the High Court in Jerusalem December 27, 2012..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli-Arab MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) said on Monday that there is no difference between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the left-wing Zionist Union after the latter decided to support attempts to prevent her from running.
Zoabi accused the Zionist Union of racism in an interview with Channel 2.
“This party gives us more evidence that there is no Zionism without racism,” she argued.
“There is no legal justification to requests to disqualify me. I was never arrested for a security offense and have never been indicted.”
“There is no difference between [opposition leader] Isaac [Herzog], Netanyahu or [MK Tzipi] Livni,” added Zoabi in reference to “the rights of Arab citizens in the country.”
Last week, the Zionist Union, headed by Isaac Herzog, announced it would join with Likud, Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu to support attempts in the Central Elections Committee later this month to ban Zoabi from the election.
In response, the Zionist Union told Channel 2 that Zoabi’s comments were “outrageous.”
“It is the right of a democracy and a state to defend itself against those that use the system of government against itself.”
“This is also the right of Zionism – which established Israel on the basis of being a Jewish state where all its citizens are equal,” said the statement.
However, the Zionist Union appeared to be softening its position at the same time, stating, “We note that this is our position, but we will wait for the position of the attorney-general,” Walla news reported.
Tensions between Arab MKs and Jewish politicians have spiked in recent days.
Meanwhile, MK Ahmed Tibi (Ta’al), in response to comments made by Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett at a conference at Tel Aviv University on Sunday regarding crime in Arab areas, said in a tweet on Monday that most of the thieves, criminals and murderers in Israel are Jews.
Dozens of high school students from the Arab sector as well as students wearing Meretz shirts walked out of Bennett’s speech after he said that the internal security of Israel has been in a downward spiral this past decade and that citizens in the Negev cannot even park their cars without being afraid that someone will break in and steal their valuables, apparently alluding to Beduin.
Separately, Tibi ruled out the joint Arab list joining any coalition, Israel Radio reported.
Lidar Gravé-Lazi and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report
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