MK Zoabi indicted on charges of 'disgracing a public servant'

Indictment, connected to incident in which she spoke out against Israeli Arab police, filed as part of plea deal in which the lawmaker had more serious incitement charge against her dropped.

January 7, 2016 13:04
1 minute read.
Zoabi court

MK Haneen Zoabi at the High Court of Justice. (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Northern District Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed an indictment and plea bargain agreement with the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court regarding a 2014 incident involving MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad.) The plea deal, presuming the court endorses it, would drop the most serious charge of incitement against her for telling a crowd of protesters that Israeli Arabs who work for government security forces “should be scared of us,” but would convict her of the offense of disgracing a public servant.

Despite the deal, Zoabi and the state prosecution disagreed on the punishment, with the state seeking a suspended jail sentence, and Zoabi agreeing only to an NIS 3,000 fine and making an apology.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein personally approved the deal.

The proposed charges for incitement and disgracing a public servant relate to comments she made at a protest during a July 2014 hearing at a Nazareth court.

A Justice Ministry statement said Zoabi had called Israeli-Arab police officers “traitors,” implied threats against them and told a protesting crowd to spit in their faces.

In January, Balad said the party’s lawyer Hassan Jabarin had told Weinstein he saw no legal basis for putting her on trial.

“The State Attorney’s Office does not usually put elected officials on trial for a spontaneous expression made in the heat of the moment in public political activity,” Jabarin said. “Therefore, if charges are pressed, the state will have to explain to the court why Zoabi is discriminated against, since in dozens of similar cases, including worse instances, not only was there no indictment, there was no investigation.”

In July 2014, Weinstein closed a different investigation against Zoabi without charging her for several media interviews in which she was accused of implying support for the kidnappings of three Jewish teenagers a month beforehand, an allegation which she denied.

Related Content

August 20, 2018
Buzaglo latest addition to new-look Beitar