Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Zoabi's place is on the blacklist

Zoabi's place is on the blacklist

MK Danny Danon

The Supreme Court has made a regretful decision, effectively facilitating MK Hanin Zoabi's return to the Knesset as the hero of the Mavi Marmara. Appendix 7A to Basic Law: The Knesset clearly stipulates under what conditions it is permissible to disqualify a candidate or party: negation of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people; negation of the democratic character of the State; support for armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel; and incitement to racism.

Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) is the heir apparent to former MK Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007 after being accused of providing intelligence to Hezbollah during the month-long Second Lebanon War in 2006. Her conduct has been in violation of two of the essential aforementioned stipulations, thereby justifying her disqualification.

Zoabi called for the support of groups involved in terrorist activity, even going as far as boarding the terrorist flotilla with the full knowledge that a recognized terrorist organization, for all intents and purposes, was its sponsor. In contrast to other Arab MKs, who walk the tightrope while exploiting the gray area between freedom of speech and incitement, Zoabi decided to follow in Bishara's footsteps, by crossing the line and boarding the Mavi Marmara. Israel's naval commandos, some of whom sustained debilitating injuries aboard the ship, are sitting at home today watching as she returns smiling triumphantly to the 19th Knesset. This scenario is unacceptable.

In 2003, while ignoring all of the warning signs, the court ruled that Bishara must be permitted to run for Knesset. Several years later, this "righteous" man chose to cooperate with Hezbollah, and in all his gall, while sitting at his seat in the Knesset plenum, spoke with Hezbollah representatives and gave them target coordinates for missile fire on Israel's north. For his espionage activities, Bishara received $400,000. By the time he was called in for questioning, Bishara no longer had faith in the court that had allowed him to run for Knesset in the first place, had evaded law-enforcement authorities and chose to flee the country. Bishara is Zoabi's spiritual teacher.

To my sorrow, the High Court justices ruled that as long as no act of treason was committed, and that a severe indictment was never filed against her, then there is no legal cause for disqualification. This is all in contradiction to the language and spirit of the law.

Now, the 19th Knesset will likely include Zoabi; responsibility for amending Basic Law: The Knesset lies on the shoulders of the sane democratic camp, which must ensure that an MK who chooses to support terrorist organizations and incite against the State of Israel cannot be re-elected.

Democracy and freedom of speech are the loftiest of values, but we must act with determination against those who exploit them to hurt the state.