Knesset panel censures Liberman for calling Zoabi ‘terrorist’

“The only undemocratic thing here is that there is a terrorist sitting in the Knesset and acting against IDF soldiers,” Liberman wrote.

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October 17, 2018 13:32
1 minute read.
Avigdor Lieberman and Haneen Zoabi

lieberman zoabi 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Knesset Ethics Committee rebuked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for calling Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi a terrorist, in a decision announced Wednesday.

Liberman referred to the lawmaker as “the terrorist Haneen Zoabi” in a Facebook post in June that called for her impeachment and removal from the Knesset. He lamented that other party leaders blocked efforts by his Yisrael Beytenu Party to begin the process.

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“The only undemocratic thing here is that there is a terrorist sitting in the Knesset and acting against IDF soldiers,” Liberman wrote along with a link to an online petition against Zoabi.

The Ethics Committee said it “reinforced its principled stance that there is no place for such expressions in the legitimate public discourse between elected officials and their colleagues.”

Zoabi expressed dissatisfaction with the decision, saying “racists who support apartheid, [population] transfer and shooting civilians only receive a censure, and those who warn against murder and blockades and bombing civilian populations are suspended, silenced and their character is assassinated.”

The Joint List MK has been suspended from the Knesset multiple times, including for expressing support in a Hamas publication for shooting rockets at Israel, among other offenses.

“Liberman’s actions won’t lead to a discussion in the Knesset Ethics Committee,” Zoabi added, “rather to a discussion before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, because that is where the war crimes he commits are adjudicated.”

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Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer repeated the claim that Zoabi is a terrorist and took umbrage with the Ethics Committee announcing its decision while Liberman was “busy with Israel’s defense from Zoabi’s friends who send rockets [and] terrorists to the [border] fence.”

Forer said that Liberman “described reality” by calling Zoabi a terrorist.

“Whoever supports terrorists, goes on a flotilla” to break the blockade in Gaza, as Zoabi did in 2010, “and supports armed conflict against Israel is a terrorist,” Forrer said.

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