“They [ISIS] kill one person with a knife each time, while the IDF kills dozens of Palestinians at a time by pressing a button,” Zoabi said in an interview with Channel 2.
“The soldier remains in the plane when he launches strikes and he does not see the victim – the wings of the plane just slightly shift,” she said.
Zoabi expressed her belief that IDF soldiers are “no less a terrorist than the ones who behead. They kill more than a knife kills.”
Expanding on her comparison between the IDF and ISIS, Zoabi stated that both are “murderous armies that lack red-lines.” She denied that there was a growing trend among Israeli Arabs of joining ISIS despite increasing reports to the contrary.
While Zoabi was careful to refer to those Israeli Arabs who join ISIS as “fringe” members of society, she justified their decision by saying that they “had no option in life and their lives lacked meaning.”
Fellow Balad member MK Basel Ghattas echoed Zoabi’s statements. In an interview on Army Radio, Ghattas said that while ISIS is a violent and cruel organization, “unlike the IDF,” they have never committed any crimes against humanity.
“Israel had the ability to commit crimes against humanity. Even [Israeli Defense Minister Moshe] Ya’alon admitted that the IDF bombed Shujaiyya [in Gaza] so murderously to prevent the kidnapping of a soldier,” he stated. “That quote will bring Ya’alon before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”
Zoabi’s comments caused outrage across Israel’s political spectrum. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman posted a status on Facebook headed “A terror organization named Balad.” In the post, the foreign minister accused Balad of morphing into an entity belonging to Hamas.
He accused party members of “using the Knesset to advance terrorism and taking advantage of their parliamentary immunity.”
Liberman wrote that in the past, his party acted to prevent Balad from being a part of the Knesset. The decision was eventually overturned by the High Court of Justice.
“We will resume our efforts to disqualify this terrorist party from running for the Knesset, because today it is no longer possible to ignore Balad’s defiant, blatant actions against the State of Israel, which explicitly violate the law. There is no room in Israel for a wing of Hamas,” he wrote.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) dubbed Zoabi as “traitorous” and called for her expulsion from Israel. “There is a limit to what a sovereign state and its citizens must accept from a certified traitor,” he said.
MK Miri Regev (Likud) called Zoabi “a dangerous enemy of Israel who belongs in jail.” MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said that the comments were delusional and “continued a long list of racist and anti-Semitic statements” from Zoabi.