Zoabi belongs in Gaza's government, not Israel's, Eli Yishai says

"Whoever would hurt Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara, doesn't recognize Israel's existence ... should be not be allowed to be an official representative of the State of Israel."

March 12, 2015 09:51
1 minute read.
Haneen Zoabi

Haneen Zoabi speaks at Central Elections Committee hearing to ban her from running for Knesset. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Eli Yishai, chairman of the Yahad party, lashed out at Balad MK and Joint (Arab) List candidate Haneen Zoabi on Thursday, saying she would be better suited to serve in Gaza's government and should not be allowed to serve in the Knesset.

"Zoabi's actions prove once and again that her place is in Gaza's parliament," he said. "Whoever would hurt Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara, doesn't recognize Israel's existence ... should be not be allowed to be an official representative of the State of Israel."

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He further claimed that the true goal of the Arab parties is to undermine Israel's sovereignty and its institutions. "My goal for the next government is to pass clear legislation that would not allow enemies to be representatives in the Knesset."

Yishai was speaking in response to a report that Zoabi was heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah, though in reality, she is heading to the Israeli city of Ramle.

The Joint list responded strongly to Yishai's comments, saying they are not surprised by his error in differentiating between Ramle and Ramallah. "His response not only made him into a joke, but also showed ignornace of the region's geography, which should worry voters."

The Balad MK has a long history of controversial activity in and out of the Knesset, including participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla on the infamous Mavi Marmara, which was stopped by IDF commandos, as well as supporting the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June 2014.

In 2011, the Ethics Committee banned her from the Knesset for two months after she physically attacked an usher who tried to remove her from the plenum for incessantly interrupting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had referred to her in his speech.

In July 2014, she was banned again from the Knesset, this time for six months, following complaints of incitement.

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