Zoabi suspended from Knesset for one day

Balad MK punished by Ethics C’tee for shoving an usher after being asked to leave Knesset for interrupting.

January 3, 2012 15:29
1 minute read.
MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad)

MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The Knesset Ethics Committee suspended MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) from the plenum for one day on Tuesday, as punishment for pushing a Knesset usher.

In July, during a speech by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Zoabi was asked to leave the plenum because she was interrupting, and shoved the usher that escorted her.

Haneen Zoabi suspended from Knesset over Gaza flotilla

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Although the Knesset House Committee discussed the situation that week, and Zoabi apologized to the usher, MK Danny Danon (Likud) sent a complaint to the Ethics Committee.

“I already expressed regret and clarified that I did not intend to hurt anyone,” Zoabi wrote in her response to the committee, adding that the issue is “behind us” and that Danon’s complaint shows “a need for political revenge.”

The Ethics Committee decided to suspend Zoabi from the Knesset plenum for one day – this Wednesday – but will allow her to vote on bills.

The committee also said any MKs asked to leave the plenum should do so on their own, in order to avoid a physical conflict with ushers.

Following the decision, Zoabi pointed out that Danon complained to the Ethics Committee four months after the incident, shortly after her participation in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in South Africa, which is meant to support Palestinians’ rights and investigate whether Israel is considered an apartheid state under international law.

“This proves that [the complaint] is political revenge and part of the incessant attempts to undermine and disrupt my parliamentary activities,” she said.

Zoabi added that right-wing MKs are “bullies” who are trying to silence and punish anyone who defies what they think is legitimate.

Later Tuesday, in a speech to the plenum, Danon said the punishment for “the hero of the [Gaza flotilla ship] Marmara, who was on the same ship as the terrorists,” was not harsh enough, and sends a message to MKs that violence against Knesset workers is not that bad.

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