Liberman blasts lawmakers for blocking impeachment of radical Arab Knesset Member

Hanin Zoabi is the first target of the new law allowing the Knesset to impeach colleagues in limited circumstances.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, speaking Monday in his capacity as head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, criticized his fellow lawmakers in the Knesset for not jumping aboard his party’s attempt to impeach Joint List Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoabi for her support of terrorism against the Jewish state.

“The terrorist Hanin Zoabi is in the Knesset and promotes terror against IDF soldiers and the country’s citizens only because MKs from the Zionist Union, Yesh Atid and the ultra-Orthodox parties refuse to sign on [Yisrael Beytenu] MK Oded Forer’s petition to oust her according to the law,” he charged.

The bill Liberman referred to is the Impeachment Law, which allows the Knesset to force out a member who has incited to violence or racism or supported armed conflict by an enemy state or terrorist organization against Israel.

Two petitions against the law were dismissed last week by a full panel of nine judges on Israel’s Supreme Court, who stated that the limitations and safeguards put in place ensured that it did not “negate the heart of the democratic identity of the state.”

Liberman then appealed to the regular citizenry to help get the politicians on board.

“The only thing that’s not democratic is that there is a terrorist who sits in the Knesset and works to harm IDF soldiers,” he said. “I ask each of you to visit the website and email all the MKs who refuse to sign.”

Zoabi’s controversial statements

Zoabi refused to denounce Hamas’ rocket attacks during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and the murder of the three teenagers which precipitated that operation as acts of terror.

She has called IDF soldiers “murderers” and Israel a “fascist country” for acting in self-defense, while justifying Hamas’s violence and calling for “millions of Palestinians to march on Jerusalem.”

In 2017, she compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

In 2010 she was on board the Mavi Marmara, a ship that was part of a flotilla trying to break Israel’s sea blockade of the Gaza Strip.

To begin the impeachment process, 70 MKs need to sign on a petition to the Knesset House Committee, 10 of which must come from the opposition.

If the request is approved, a full 75% of the Knesset – 90 members – would then have to vote in favor of the ouster in the full plenum.

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Haredi parties have refused to sign on due to ongoing conflicts with the government over matters of religion and state that have nothing to do with the petition.