Zoabi unapologetic, repeats that kidnapping is not terror

Herzog in letter to Zoabi: You are harming coexistence, most Israeli Arabs don't agree with you.

By
June 18, 2014 10:26
2 minute read.
Haneen Zoabi

MK Haneen Zoabi.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

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

MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) defended and repeated her assertion that the abduction of three Israeli teens was not an act of terror Wednesday.

"I can't call this act terrorism, even if I don't agree with it - and I don't," Zoabi told Army Radio. "This incident is a result of [Israeli] war crimes."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The comments came a day after the Balad MK caused an uproar after saying in a Radio Tel Aviv interview Tuesday that the kidnappers are not terrorists, leading many MKs to call for the removal of her parliamentary immunity so she can be tried for incitement. Some lawmakers plan to propose bills that would oust her from the Knesset for supporting terror.

On Wednesday, Zoabi defended her statements by saying the kidnapping took place in a context of occupation.

"There is consensus in our [Palestinian] nation that a battle against the occupation is legitimate," she said. "As long as Israel has a policy of terror, it is difficult for me to say [the kidnapping was terror]."

She conceded that if the kidnappers kill the boys, it would not be a legitimate action, but said it would be Israel's fault.

"[Israel] encourages kidnapping as long as it ignores the context of occupation," she said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Zoabi added that if it were up to her, she would free both the captives and Palestinian prisoners.

When asked whether she is in contact with Hamas, she said "no, but [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is."

Zoabi also said she went into hiding and threw away her phone, which she said was hacked.

Her phone number was disseminated on social media, along with calls to tell her she was wrong for saying kidnapping is not terror.

Earlier Wednesday, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) called for Zoabi to apologize, in a letter to the Balad MK.

"Yesterday, at the height of the operation to bring back the boys, you decided to say  obscene words encouraging kidnapping," Herzog wrote. "These statements harm peace and coexistence no less than any 'Price Tag' act."

The Labor leader added that what Zoabi said harmed the Israel-Arab public.

"As someone who knows Israeli Arabs well, I know that they disapprove of terror and violence and your words cause them a great injustice," Herzog wrote. "It would be better if you avoid saying such things in the future as they cause damage to the delicate fabric of Israeli life."

Still, Herzog wrote, he sees a great value to freedom of expression in public and in the Knesset.

 

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Abu Ubaida
August 28, 2014
Media are Hamas’s main strategic weapons, says visiting US historian

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL