During a heated debate at the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, on Israel’s responsibility for the Gaza Strip’s current misery, and a proposal by MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) to launch an investigative parliamentary committee to examine the “continued siege and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” MK Zoabi responded to MKs who heckled her saying, “You are occupiers according to international law. You won’t tell Palestinians whom to elect, you won’t choose the Palestinian people’s leaders.”
To which a number of MKs responded, some quite vociferously, that she was supporting terror. To which MK Zoabi responded that “the moral obligation of the oppressed is to fight the oppressor. He who places a siege on Gaza is a terrorist. The occupation is the real terror. Whoever killed 500 children is a terrorist. You stop electricity to hospitals, you stop electricity and cause infection; 95% of the water [in Gaza] is infected.”
Naturally, the Arab MK for whom this is her last term in the legislator, after her own rank and file party members have booted her to a spot way down the party’s candidate list, saw no culprit in Gaza other than Israel. She complained about the severe reduction (about 80%) in the daily number of trucks carrying cement and construction material from Israel into Gaza since 2007 – the year Hamas took over the Strip and launched its combined tunnel and rocket campaign against Israel.
It made no difference to the Arab MK that Israel had withdrawn its army and 8,000 civilians from the Gaza Strip in 2005, because she preached to her fellow legislators that “there is no military solution to the occupation. There is only one solution – to end the occupation and end the siege. You are occupiers – it will end.”
Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) sarcastically thanked the Supreme Court judges led by current Chief Justice Miriam Na’or for overturning a decision by the Central Election Committee to disqualify Zoabi from running for the Knesset. “You succeeded in including a supporter of terror,” he mock-applauded. “You allowed her to utter these lies in parliament which no state should allow. These are the words of people who betray their country, they have no place in parliament, but they are registered in the records of the Supreme Court which allowed this scandal.”
Turning to Zoabi, Minister Levin said, “Your hatred for the State of Israel, the country which provides you with security, electricity and a diplomatic passport, your hatred even makes you turn your back not just on the suffering of the citizens of Israel but on the suffering of those you purport to protect.”
“These civilians are cringing under a terror government which exploits children and turns health and education institutions into human shields for terrorists,” Levin continued. “Despite this terror, Israel acts in a humanitarian manner. Every day a thousand trucks carrying food and equipment enter Gaza, energy and water projects are being initiated. We help in every way to create employment.”
Levin concluded that “it’s time people like Hanin Zoabi no longer sit in the Knesset,” advising the heated MK: “If you had any integrity, you would have given up your Israeli citizenship. I await the day that a court will permit the revoking your citizenship.”
MK Zoabi’s proposal was rejected in a 41-17 vote.