On Thursday, Israel’s High Court reviewed the appeal by Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) of the Knesset Elections Committee’s decision to disqualify her candidacy. Zoabi, a vociferous anti Israeli MK, has made many enemies (many more enemies?) in 2010, when she sailed on board the Mavi Marmara, part of the flotilla that attempted to breach the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip. Israeli special forces raided the ship after its captain disregarded orders to dock in Ashdod port for inspection. Terrorists on board the ship attacked the soldiers with crowbars and as they descended quite helplessly from a chopper, one at a time—not the finest planned IDS operation, admittedly—and the soldiers defended themselves with their firearms, killing nine Turkish nationals.
The committee ruled Zoabi’s participation in a blatant anti-Israeli an act of collaboration with the enemy and sent her packing. But Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein said Zoabi’s sympathy with terrorist groups and the Palestinian cause were not sufficient to disqualify her from running for office. Weinstein announced that Zoabi did not violate the Knesset constitutional law that denies a candidate the right to run for the Knesset if they actively harm the state or attempt to undo its Jewish and democratic identity.
Came pretty close, though…
The committee did not follow Weinstein’s advice and voted to disqualify Zoabi, who declared that the ruling bore the “black flag of illegitimacy and the tyrannical rule of the majority.”
It is generally expected that the court will rule in favor of Zoabi.
A shouting match that evolved into a shoving match erupted between followers of Power to Israel’s MK Michael Ben Ari and MK Zoabi.
“I will not turn the other cheek,” Ben-Ari said later, adding that the Arab candidate’sm supporters ” tried to attack me and I reacted. It is our right to say that Hanin Zoabi is a terrorist. All the niceties and proper manners must not apply when it comes to the enemies of Israel.”
Once the court approves her run, Zoabi’s popularity will rise even more. Photographer Yonatan Sindel has illustrated this well with the enclosed image, that adorns her with a saint’s halo.
But should the court disqualify her, there will be no end to the power she will wield in the Arab sector, and a new image will surely be required, with a much bigger halo.