Israeli Arab lawmaker indicted for insulting Israeli Arab policemen

Israeli Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi is facing charges after she insulted Israeli Arab policemen at a court house.

By: JNI Media a World Israel News Staff
Hanin Zoabi

MK Hanin Zoabi accosts Israeli policemen. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoabi will face charges of insulting a public servant in an Israeli court for verbally assaulting Arab police officers.

In July 2014, Zoabi, of the Joint Arab List, verbally accosted Arab policemen who testified at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court. In the presence of a large crowd, including families of the detainees and lawyers who were waiting outside the court room, Zoabi humiliated the cops and told the crowd that “we should spit in their faces,” and “mop up the floor with them,” urging the crowd not to “shake their hand,” and threatening that they should “fear us and the Shabab (youths) who are arrested because of them.”

In addition, she called them traitors for serving in the Israeli police.

The policemen were there to testify at a hearing to extend the detention of suspects who participated in anti-Israel riots in Nazareth in the summer of 2014.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Monday that Zoabi was being indicted on charges of insulting a public servant. Weinstein wrote that subject to the Knesset Members Immunity Law, he would issue the indictment in accordance with the plea bargain signed with Zoabi.

According to the arrangement, Zoabi will waiver any claim against filing the indictment under the Knesset Immunity Law, and in return she would not be charged with incitement to racism or with threats.

As part of the plea bargain, Zoabi penned an apology letter in which she stated that her words against the Arab policemen “were uttered out of an emotional storm. Such expressions do not represent my style or my way, and I did not mean to harm any person. I’m sorry for saying those things and I apologize to anyone who was hurt. That event was an exception because making improper remarks is not my way.”

The prosecution had initially planned to indict Zoabi for making threats and inciting to racism, but according to the agreement with her attorneys she will only admit to the charge of insulting a public servant and issue a public apology, following which the parties are free to argue the punishment.

The prosecution will ask for probation, and Zoabi’s representatives will seek a fine. The indictment will be filed in Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in the coming weeks.

Zoabi is a known provocateur and has repeatedly voiced pro-Palestinian, pro-terror and anti-Israel sentiments in the past, using her parliament immunity as a means to escape legal prosecution.