Protesters Demand Jail for Zoabi at Haifa Event

Haifa. Photo by Zack Wajsgras/Flash90
A view of Haifa. (Zack Wajsgras/Flash90)

Over 100 rightwing protesters appeared at an event in Haifa Tuesday night, demonstrating against an Arab Israeli performer and demanding that MK Haneen Zoabi (United Arab List) be arrested and thrown in jail. The protest occurred during an Arab cultural event in Haifa in which the entertainer, Tamar Naffar, was headlining.

The protesters demanded that Naffar, who is known for his sharp criticism of Israel, be removed from the stage, telling him that he was “an inciter of violence, the next terror attack will be against you.” Police managed to keep the protesters separated from the large Arab crowd that had gathered for the event, and no violence or direct confrontations were reported.

Protesters also had some choice words for Zoabi, the controversial Arab MK who has been at the center of numerous firestorms. “Terrorist, the ultimate evil, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go home,” the protesters yelled at her as they unfurled Israeli flags. Speaking to a Channel Two reporter, one protester said that “even democracy has its limits. These people are creating anti-Israel provocations. They do not deserve to appear in public.”

Zoabi has a long and checkered history for the law. She was the impetus for the passage of the Disbarment Law, which allows MKs to throw out a Knesset member who has “gone bad,” if 90 MKs vote that member out. Zoabi is well known for her outrageous comments on Israel and the IDF. Zoabi said several months ago, for example, that IDF soldiers were “murderers” for killing nine Hamas-affiliated provocateurs who attacked IDF soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara as part of the 2010 Gaza flotilla, which she herself participated in. Zoabi demanded that the Israeli government apologize to the Turkish “political activists” aboard the ship, including herself. At least 60 complaints on the comments were filed by MKs with the Knesset Ethics Committee.

In a Knesset speech that got her ejected from the plenum in July, Hanin called IDF soldiers “murderers,” and demanded that the Israeli government apologize to the “political activists” aboard the Marmara, including herself. According to Zoabi, her position that IDF soldiers are murderers “is a national consensus and a worldwide consensus. It is not just the Palestinians who feel this way, but the entire world. If I were standing toe to toe with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on an international podium, who do you think would get the applause?”

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