'Symbolic act.' MK Zoabi
Photo: Noam Moskovitz

Begin: Don’t probe MK Zoabi over Gaza flotilla

Likud minister says Arab-Israeli lawmaker hurt Israeli-Arab relations by joining 'instigator' Raed Salah aboard Turkish vessel last May, but says Knesset should not be used as court

Addressing calls to launch an investigation against Arab-Israeli Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) for her participation in a Gaza-bound flotilla last May, Minister Benny Begin said he was against the "systematic use of the Knesset as a court of law."


Begin told the plenum Tuesday that while he is against stripping Zoabi of her rights as an MK, "joining the instigator (Raed Salah) aboard the (Gaza-bound) ship was a small symbolic act that pushed Israeli-Arab relations a few years back."


Salah is the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.


Begin's comments came in response to a no-confidence motion submitted by Arab factions over the government's policy, which they claim "encourages racist legislation."


The Likud minister said that over the past few years he has become more attentive to the Arab-Israelis' difficulty to accept Israel's definition as a Jewish state, adding that he has adopted a "more objective" definition of Israel as "the state of the Jewish nation, not the state of Jews in the Diaspora, only the Jews who live here. "


Begin said his definition is accepted "by the majority of this House," and added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers co-existence a "basic principle of Israeli reality."



פרסום ראשון: 01.25.11, 18:49
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