The Knesset Ethics Committee determined that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman breached the body’s code of conduct by calling Arab Joint List MK Hanin Zoabi a “terrorist.”
In its rebuke, the committee, chaired by Shas MK Yitzhak Vaknin, said, “There is no place in legitimate public discourse for such expressions to be directed personally toward elected officials by their colleagues.”
Liberman, who had denounced Zoabi on June 4, 2018, for her comments in support of Hamas, and specifically her labeling of IDF soldiers “murderers,” was unrepentant.
In his terse response to the committee, Liberman repeated his accusation, saying he would “cut to the chase: She’s a terrorist,” according to The Times of Israel.
Zoabi let loose another of her characteristic tirades after the committee publicized its rebuke on Wednesday: “Mr. Liberman was reprimanded by the Ethics Committee. Racist supporters of apartheid, transfer, and shooting people deserve to be reprimanded. And those who warn and fight against murder and blockade and bombing a civilian population, they get expelled, silenced and face character assassination. Liberman’s actions won’t bring him to a hearing in the Knesset’s Ethics Committee, but to a hearing at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, because that’s where war crimes like his are judged.”
Liberman has been a leading advocate of permanently expelling Zoabi from the Knesset.
“The terrorist Hanin Zoabi,” Liberman wrote in the incriminating tweet, “is in the Knesset and supporting terrorism against IDF soldiers and civilians in the state of Israel only because Knesset members from the Zionist Camp, Yesh Atid and the chareidi parties are refusing to support [Yisrael Beytenu] MK Oded Forer’s bill to remove her from the Knesset under law.”
The Ethics Committee imposed a one-week ban on her in May for accusing Israeli soldiers of “murdering” Palestinians.
In July 2014, it banned her from the Knesset for six months after she claimed that the killers of three Israeli teens were not terrorists, a comment that caused general outrage in the Israeli public as well.