Itongadol.- There was deja vu in the Knesset Wednesday. Six years after the plenum devolved into chaos in a discussion of Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi\’s presence on the Mavi Marmara, the same thing happened again, when the Knesset debated the government\’s agreement with Turkey and Zoabi called IDF soldiers "murderers."
Zoabi demanded the government issue an apology to the "political activists" aboard the Marmara, and to herself, from those who "incited against [her] for six years."
In May 2010, a flotilla of six ships headed to Gaza, and Shayetet 13 naval commandos forced the ships to Israel. Some armed passengers on the Mavi Marmara, with Zoabi aboard, violently resisted, and nine were killed.
Zoabi said Wednesday that the nine were "murdered," which is why Israel agreed in its agreement with Turkey to pay their families.
Several MKs began shouting and and moved towards the stage to complain.
When Deputy Knesset Speaker Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beytenu) asked her to apologize, Zoabi assented, but instead said: "The IDF soldiers who murdered are the ones who need to apologize! You need to apologize!"
MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), a former Jerusalem Police commander, rushed towards Zoabi, nearly reaching her before he was stopped by Knesset ushers, shouting "you are filth!" several times.
Amar had Zoabi removed from the stage and the plenum.
During the chaos, MKs Oren Hazan (Likud) – who called Zoabi a traitor – and Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) – who shouted – were also removed from the plenum.
The following speeches focused on Zoabi and less on the agreement with Turkey.
MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) called Zoabi a danger to democracy.
"An MK calls IDF soldiers murderers, and she still gets a salary from the Knesset. Does anyone doubt that the suspension bill is necessary?" he asked, referring to legislation that would allow the Knesset to suspend MKs who incite, support terrorism, or otherwise violate the legal standards for running for a seat in the Knesset.
Levy spoke next, pointing to the nearly 40 IAF soldiers sitting in the visitors\’ mezzanine and saying: "Zoabi won\’t be allowed to call them murderers. She doesn\’t belong here [in the Knesset]."
The Yesh Atid MK spoke about Balad, the party within the Joint List of which Zoabi is a member, calling it a "party of traitors," and pointing out that its founder, former MK Azmi Bishara, fled the country while being investigated for giving sensitive information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis called Zoabi "a terrorist who participated in the terror flotilla…All she wants is to destroy the State of Israel as the Jewish State." Coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) wondered if it would be quicker to pull the suspension bill and replace it with one that would just get rid of Zoabi.
"Zoabi lives off of provocations and endangers lives," he posited. "We must make sure she isn\’t here. We\’re sick of her. You can\’t call IDF soldiers murderers. We all have to unite to get this one MK out of here."
Shas MK Ya\’acov Margi said Israel has nothing to apologize for when it comes to the Marmara, because in any other country, "it would have been hit with a missile and the passengers would have been sent back to Turkey in coffins."
"Zoabi is taking advantage of our strong democracy and freedom of speech," Margi added. "I am a champion of freedom of speech; it is our strength, not our weakness. But something has to be done." MK Amir Ohana (Likud) submitted a complaint against Zoabi to the Knesset Ethics Committee.
Earlier this year, the committee Zoabi and Balad\’s other MKs were suspended from the Knesset after they met with terrorists\’ families and standing in a moment of silence in honor of the "martyrs."
Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov lamented that Zoabi "does not represent the Arab public and harms the delicate coexistence that many others are trying to build and protect in Israel.
"We must do all we can so that this detestable woman does not set foot in the Knesset again," he added, saying Zoabi makes anti-Semitic statements and meets with terrorists\’ families.
In the opposition, MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said "the agreement with Turkey is the right step, and calling IDF soldiers \’murderers\’ on the Knesset\’s stage is intolerable."
In 2010, after Zoabi participated in the Gaza flotilla, pandemonium broke out in the Knesset, with then-MK Anastasia Michaeli (Yisrael Beytenu) attempting to physically pull her off the stage," and former Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner saying Zoabi is single because no man would want to touch her. Both were punished by the Ethics Committee.