The Central Elections Committee will hold a discussion on the possible disqualification of Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi,
as well as Arab parties Balad
and United Arab List Ta'al.
MK Ofir Akunis (Likud),
who submitted the request, announced Sunday that he has obtained the necessary number of signatures to hold a discussion on Zoabi's case claiming that there is an overwhelming majority in favor of the disqualification at the committee.
However, even if Zoabi is disqualified, her case will later be discussed by a panel of judges at the High Court of Justice.
"Throughout her years in the Knesset, Zoabi has constantly undermined the State of Israel and has openly incited against the government, its institutions and IDF soldiers," the letter said. "She took part in the Marmara flotilla
which saw IDF
soldiers being attacked and their lives being threatened."
Zoabi. 'Constantly undermining Israel and IDF' (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
The request further noted that Zoabi negates the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state – a clause that makes Knesset candidates eligible for disqualification.
MK Akunis said he obtained the signatures of 13 members of the Central Elections Committee – one third of the committee – in order to put the issue on the committee's agenda.
Zoabi said in response, "The right has gotten used to placing itself above the law, above human rights and above the rules of democracy. There is no end to these fascists' audacity. Their human and political blindness knows no boundaries."
The Arab MK said that the "fascist right" has marked Balad and herself as part of a greater effort "to destroy freedom of speech, political pluralism and any deviation from the narrow ideological consensus that sees an Arab fighting for their rights as an enemy."
She further added, "The dangerous right led by the Likud-Beiteinu thinks it's time to eliminate anyone that challenges its power. Balad and Hanin Zoabi do that – it's necessary not just for Arabs but for any Jew that fails to come out against fascism."
The Central Elections Committee is set to discuss the disqualification of Balad and United Arab List Ta'al next week at the request by Likud-Beiteinu's David Rotem.
Balad's Jamal Zahalka said in response that Rotem's request was tantamount to "the pot calling the kettle black.
A discussion on the disqualification of Knesset lists or candidates is standard procedure at the Central Elections Committee which is comprised of serving MKs. For the most part the committee disqualifies several candidates in each election campaign and the decision is usually overturned by the High Court of Justice.
Telem Yahav is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent