NGO petitions A-G: Investigate MK Heba Yazbak for incitement to violence

“Yazbak does a disservice to the people she claims to represent because her actions drive a wedge between Arab and Jewish citizens,” said Roni Keren.

By SHERI OZ
September 1, 2019 03:17
2 minute read.
NGO petitions A-G: Investigate MK Heba Yazbak for incitement to violence

MK Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The human rights organization Btzalmo is petitioning Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday to open a criminal investigation against MK Heba Yazbak (Balad) for posting statements honoring terrorists, most notably, Samir Kuntar, who bashed the head of a four-year-old girl on the rocks of Nahariya beach 40 years ago after shooting her father, Danny Keren, before her eyes.

Released by Israel in 2008 in a deal that saw the return of the bodies of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, Kuntar became a senior Hezbollah terrorist. He was killed in an explosion near Damascus in 2015, at which point Yazbak wrote her tribute to him.

Shai Glick, CEO of Btzalmo, told The Jerusalem Post that the decision to petition the A-G was made following the sharply worded conclusion voiced by Supreme Court President Esther Hayut in which she said Yazbak’s statements show support for a terrorist organization. Hayut noted Yazbak refused to rescind her expressions of support for terrorism.

“This refusal proves that Yazbak stands behind her support of terrorism and there is no choice other than to conduct a criminal investigation against her and to charge her with incitement to terror,” Glick said. “The court was clear about this and now it is up to the attorney-general to act. Failure to do so will show that one can incite to terror and be immune from prosecution if one is an Arab.”

Israel has laws against incitement to racism, violence and terrorism that include publishing praise or expressions of affinity for the acts of violence committed by others. The law states that supporting others acts constitutes incitement to violence because such expressions can encourage others to act in kind.

Btzalmo is representing Danny Keren’s brother, Roni Keren, in its petition. Keren gave the organization power of attorney.

“It is infuriating that a member of the Knesset, someone whose salary I pay with my taxes, regards the terrorist who killed my brother and his daughters as a hero,” Keren said. “This is enough to encourage other acts of terror. Her place is in jail.”

Keren further said that the issue crosses political lines and should be of concern to everyone regardless of whether they are left-wing or right-wing.

“Yazbak does a disservice to the people she claims to represent because her actions drive a wedge between Arab and Jewish citizens,” Keren said. “ No good can come of this.”

When asked for her reaction to the request for a criminal investigation, Yazbak said she had no comment.


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