Traitorous MK Hanin Zouabi banned from running for reelection

MK Hanin Zouabi, disqualified by Elections Committee from reelection

Almost a year ago I wrote about the traitors who sit in Israel’s Knesset. I was referring in particular to Hanin Zouabi from the Balad party. She had been accused by other MKs of consorting with the enemy, and they demanded her removal from the Knesset.

Compounding her misdeeds, Zouabi participated in the fatal Mavi Marmara flotilla intended to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza, an act which should have resulted in her expulsion from the Knesset if not a jail sentence, but instead received a mere slap on the wrist from the Knesset ethics committee.

Here’s some video footage of Zouabi on board the Mavi Marmara, putting the lie to her claim that she didn’t know there were terrorists on board: (h/t Israel Matzav.)

Against this background I’m happy to read that finally justice has been seen to be done, and the Central Elections Committee has banned Zouabi from standing for reelection. However, since this rightful decision still has to be ratified by the High Court, known for its leftist hyper-activism, I am not holding my breath yet.

Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) will not be able compete in the coming Knesset elections, the Central Elections Committee ruled on Wednesday. The decision, which must be cleared by the High Court of Justice before it takes effect, followed a heated debate over the disqualification of several MKs and parties.

A 19-member majority comprising the representatives of Kadima, Likud, Yisrael Beytenu, Shas, United Torah Judaism, the National Union and the New National Religious Party (Habayit Hayehudi) voted in favor of the motion to remove Zoabi’s name from the ballot (her party has her listed second on its Knesset candidate list). The left-wing parties (including Labor) and the center-left Hatnuah (led by former MK Tzipi Livni) voted to strike down the measure, which came after a heated seven-hour debate.

The High Court of Justice will review the decision next week. Because of the high stakes involved, a nine-justice panel will hear the case.


MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) attacked the committee, saying it is composed of “seventh-tier politicians and frustrated lawyers who want to make headlines on the backs of the Arabs.” The committee members representing the right-wing parties were outraged by Tibi’s comments and threatened to walk out. “Let’s see you use such language in Syria,” one member hurled at him. To which he responded, “You are fascist Jews who have been caught up in their own rhetoric.”


Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) accused Zoabi of supporting terrorism and said he was baffled by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s legal opinion from earlier this week in which he said Zoabi should be allowed to compete for a Knesset seat. MK Michael Ben Ari (Strong Israel) said, “We need to end this farce where representatives of [Hamas political bureau chief] Khaled Mashaal and other people who coddle the butcher from Damascus [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] serve in the Knesset on the taxpayer’s dime.”

MK Isaac (Buji) Herzog (Labor) said his party was against all the motions to disqualify candidates: “Zoabi’s actions [in participating in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, during which IDF forces were attacked] are despicable; it has made our blood boil and our hearts twitch, and it makes you want to go nuts.”

If her actions were that despicable that he felt ill, why does he object to her disqualification? He does not explain (or the paper doesn’t).

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) also expressed displeasure with the motions to disqualify the candidates. “If we were to disqualify all those who disliked us, most of us wouldn’t be here,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz needs his head examined. Zouabi’s actions went beyond mere “dislike” and went over the border of hate speech and aiding and abetting the enemy.

Zoabi said the decision smacked of “moral illegitimacy that comes with the tyrannical rule of the majority and the suppression of a basic right in a democracy.”

“The decision is a result of a political vendetta and a lowly attempt to infringe the representation of Arab constituencies,” she said. “I am convinced that in a democracy one has to continue fighting for equal status, as it is the only available course of action.”

Zouabi does not understand or appreciate what democracy is. I challenge her to stand in the town square of any Arab country and denounce the governemnt there like she does the Israeli government and we’ll see how long she lasts.

The commentator Petra Marquardt-Bigman had a very interesting viewpoint into Zouabi’s actions, stating that in fact they helped Israel’s hasbara efforts:

However, it seems that Zoabi has some critics even within her own extended family: as Israeli media reported some two months ago, the petition to disqualify her was signed by a cousin of Zoabi who argued that instead of working for the interests of Israeli Arabs, she “represents the Palestinians in Ramallah – so she should move there.”

No doubt many Israelis will share this sentiment – but ironically, Zoabi’s hostility to Israel has been so extreme that it sometimes had a completely unintended hasbara effect.

Read the rest of the article for an enlightening and unusual view into the effects of Zouabi’s actions.

Let us just hope that the High Court doesn’t chicken out of its duty to disqualify Zouabi from reelction on the basis of some spurious “democratic” or “human rights” pretext.

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11 Responses to Traitorous MK Hanin Zouabi banned from running for reelection

  1. Brian Goldfarb says:

    I read elsewhere on the web that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn this decision and allow her to stand. On the one hand, should someone who can be labelled with some (or more than some) justice a traitor be allowed to stand for the Knesset? Against this, should the example of the hardly admirable Ayatollahs in banning anyone who might disagree with their odious principles, ideology and policies be followed.

    There are, of course, arguments both ways. In 1939/40, the UK interned (detained without trial) under Regulation 18B a clearly pro-Nazi and virulently antisemitic Member of Parliament, one Captain Maule Ramsay. Intriguing footnote: while in prison, he sued for libel an American publication which claimed he had been found guilty of treason: he hadn’t ever been tried, so the journal was guilty of libel. The judge awarded him a farthing (a quarter of a penny – which was one 240th of a Pound Sterling) – the lowest denomination of coinage available – in damages.

    Against this is the following: Nick Cohen (in The Observer, earlier this year) refers back to when Tony Blair was still Prime Minister (2007) and still able to appear as a good liberal, in the widest sense of that word. He was being interviewed by John Humphrys (a reporter for the BBC early morning radio programme “Today”, and Blair refused to concede to Iran a different notion of democracy from the one we take for granted. Thus, the following brief exchange is instructive (I’ve edited it even more than Cohen did):

    Blair: “There is a global struggle in which we need a policy based on democracy…”
    Humphrys: “Our idea of democracy?”
    Blair: “I didn’t know that there was another idea of democracy…”
    Humphrys: “If I may say so, that’s naive…”
    Blair ”…democracy [means] you can get rid of your government if you don’t like them.”
    Humphrys: “The Iranians elected their own government…”
    Blair: ”Hold on, John, something like 60% of the candidates were excluded.”

    The point here is that Blair is insisting that a democracy should be robust enough to cope with its internal enemies. If it can’t, questions are raised as to its long-term viability. BUT: freedom/liberty is not license to do whatever one wants. That’s why there are laws, courts and this thing called justice.

    But as I’m not an Israeli citizen, and therefore not a voter, the last word isn’t, and shouldn’t, be mine.

    • anneinpt says:

      should the example of the hardly admirable Ayatollahs in banning anyone who might disagree with their odious principles, ideology and policies be followed.

      If I didn’t know you better I’d find this highly offensive. Zouabi doesn’t simply “disagree” with Israel’s policies. She actively works to undermine the existence of the State which she is sworn to uphold and defend as a Member of its parliament, the Knesset. She took part in a flotilla to break a legal blockade of an enemy entity, a flotilla organized and manned by terrorists. There is clear video evidence she was on that ship, it is not mere speculation. She has previously consorted with terrorists whose aim is the destruction of Israel – that same Israel that gives her the privilege of representing her community in its parliament.

      If that is not the essence of treason I don’t know what is.

      If the High Court overturns the ruling there will be outrage in Israel. As it is I have very little faith in our judicial system because of its extreme leftism and judicial hyperactivism. An overturning would simply strengthen that feeling.

      The point here is that Blair is insisting that a democracy should be robust enough to cope with its internal enemies.

      When its internal enemies join forces with its external enemies – an act that is documented, not a mere conspiracy theory – a democracy should be robust enough to call a spade a spade and take action to defend itself. A democracy does not have to be so robust that it is required to commit suicide or to allow others to destroy it.

      If it can’t, questions are raised as to its long-term viability.

      That applies in both directions – if it can’t withstand internal enemies, and if it can’t protect itself against external enemies or permits its internal enemies to join forces with the external enemies.

      BUT: freedom/liberty is not license to do whatever one wants. That’s why there are laws, courts and this thing called justice.

      Precisely. That is why I will utterly lose faith in the judicial system if they cannot see that what Zouabi did was treason.

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        Anne, I wasn’t intending to upset you. You will note that my last words note that I’m not an Israeli citizen, don’t have the vote, etc. What I was trying to do was suggest that, however deserving, this might (see “might” underlined at least three times) be the start of a slippery slope. The polity (in its broadest sense) has to be certain that barring someone from standing for the Knesset or any other public office for which they are otherwise qualified (they’re a citizen, they’re a lawyer, doctor, whatever) isn’t on bogus grounds: that Meretz MK who said outrageous things about gays; that Yisroel Beteinu candidate who made racist comments about Israeli Arabs in general, although they are citizens in good standing; that pacifist member of the Israeli Communist party.

        If (Israelis must decide if that “if” is stronger than that) she has committed treason, then charge her and bring her to trial. If the evidence isn’t strong enough. then she walks, whether she “should” or shouldn’t.

        Another story: back when the UK government was backing Bush W. in the invasion of Iraq (this didn’t apply to the invasion of Afghanistan), one George Galloway, then a Labour MP in Scotland (and already known, ironically, as “gorgeous George”), called for the death of British service personnel in Iraq and the defeat of the Allied force there. The Labour Party expelled him from the Party and deselected him (which meant he couldn’t stand as a Labour candidate in the 2005 election). There was even talk of charging him with the crime of sedition (dictionary definition “Conduct or language inciting to rebellion against the constituted authority in a state” [Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol 2, p. 1927]), which would have made him a martyr, instead of just an idiot. Fortunately, the idea was dropped. Note that (importantly in a democracy) this didn’t stop him standing against (and beating) a very good Labour MP) Oona King, of Jewish/Black origins), and doing the same just recently in a by-election. Sedition ceased to be an offence in 2009.

        Should he have been banned? No, for the implicit reasons given in that clip from Blair in my original comment. Should stronger efforts have been made to defeat him, in 2005 and 2012? Undoubtedly, yes. He’s a clown, but a dangerous one.

        All this is not to say that you (Israelis) should or should not ban this woman, but that you collectively need to make sure that you don’t open the door to the banning of those some strong enough group doesn’t like for their own, bad, reasons. Think how you might feel if someone came up with some dirt on Bibi, however irrelevant, and sought to ban him from standing. Well, they might say, you did it for reasons just as good to get rid of Hanin Zouabi.

        As the Chinese proverb has it, “be careful of what you wish for”.

        • cba says:

          I think consorting with the enemy is pretty darned good grounds. I really don’t care for the fact that she is currently getting paid with my tax money.

          And by the way, you may remember that many years ago (many, many years ago), Kahane’s party was banned from running.

  2. peteca1 says:

    Anne – I have been watching to see if you would say anything about Avigdor Liebermann’s resignation. Maybe it’s all about some old scandal related to finances. But I really wonder if it’s not also related to the leaks coming from the Knesset when Bibbi convened his secret meeting to discuss Iran. What do you think???
    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      Pete, I had thought about writing about Lieberman but I ran out of time. Perhaps I’ll write about him in a later post next week, together with other election news.

      In short, his resignation is about the various investigations that have been going on against him for years, over 10 years I think. It is ridiculous that the investigation has dragged out so long, but that’s how things go in Israel. I think it’s wrong but I don’t know how the system can be changed. Frequently we see that these extremely long investigations eventually ruin people’s lives and careers, and in the end the person is either cleared or charged with a much more minor charge.

      We’ve seen this with Ehud Olmert and with Lieberman. Olmert’s corruption shouts to the heavens but he’s such a wily operator that he leaves almost no trail. He’s still facing one or more charges but I’m not holding my breath to see whether he’ll end up with a serious punishment.

      It’s a similar story with Lieberman except that I don’t think his alleged corruption is as serious as Olmert’s. But perhaps I’m biased because of his politics. For the moment he too has only been charged with a much lesser charge.

      I’m fairly sure his resignation is not connected to Iran. I think he felt that if was still a Minister he would bring both his party and Likud down with him if he was found guilty, so it would be better to work with Bibi from the outside.

      I’m just guessing here of course because no one knows for sure.

  3. ealha3 says:

    Although the Israelis seem to have learned the lesson that it is sometimes advantageous to tolerate the muzings of the radical opposition as a token of their democracy, it should next be learned that the tolerant practice does not include illegal activity – illegal that has been proven in court. A better alternative may have been some sort of “pre-emptive suspension” pending a hearing to determine at least if there is sufficient evidence to show probable cause of her illegal activity. Given that probable cause ruling, there may have been a better foundation to base her exclusion.

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