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Arab-Israeli MK Suspended for Inflammatory Speech

Knesset Passes 2019 Budget, Averting Near-term Coalition Crisis

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15 Mar 2018 (All day)
Arab-Israeli MK Suspended for Inflammatory Speech
Joint (Arab) List MK Haneen Zoabi was suspended for a week by the Knesset Ethics Committee on Wednesday for a speech she made in the Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee in February saying, among other things, that “A person is called a murderer even if they murdered only once, or if they murder someone each day. That applies to an army that murders sometimes, not every day....I’d be happy to send you detailed information about the great number of Palestinians murdered by (IDF) soldiers.”

“The committee has redefined its job, from Ethics Committee to Censorship Committee,” Zoabi said in response to the suspension. “I didn’t know I need approval from MKs for what terminology to use, what to say and not say, what values can and cannot be defended, whether the right to life is sacred or can be canceled…is it my job to make Israeli war crimes look better, or is it my job to shout out against these crimes and say the truth: Murder is murder.”

The suspension, which is scheduled to start when the Knesset returns from its Passover break, will be merely the latest in a string of such suspensions for Zoabi, who is well known for making inflammatory statements.

In related news, the Knesset passed the 2019 budget on Wednesday afternoon, by a vote of 62-58, removing one more factor in the perilous stability of the current governing coalition.

“A week ago I said that if the state budget will not be approved by Passover night,” said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. “I will have to leave the office of finance minister. Tonight I am happy to say that on Passover night I will be in office and we will continue to serve the people of Israel.” 

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