Arab MK Hanin Zoabi will not face a criminal investigation for sedition, reported Israel Hayom. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Attorney Shai Nitzan declined to open the investigation Tuesday, saying it was unwarranted.
Zoabi caused an uproar in October when, during an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, she compared IDF soldiers to Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
“They [Islamic State] kill one person with a knife each time, while the IDF kills dozens of Palestinians at a time by pressing a button,” Zoabi said.
“The soldier remains in the plane when he launches strikes and he doesn’t see the victim. … He is no less a terrorist than one who beheads others with a knife. And those who take pictures with corpses, laughing with Palestinian corpses, I do not think they are any less terrorists than the ones who behead. They kill more than a knife kills.”
Only the latest in a string of controversial comments Zoabi had made, civil advocacy groups called on Weinstein to open an investigation against her for sedition and incitement.
The Attorney General’s office responded this week that Zoabi’s comments are considered free speech. “The Attorney General’s Office’s policy regarding investigations over matters tangent to freedom of speech is conservative, and it is especially conservative with regards to statements which may constitute sedition,” Deputy Attorney General for Special Assignments Amit Issman said in a statement.
“Despite the great unease evoked by [Zoabi’s] statements against IDF soldiers, we do not believe they warrant a criminal investigation,” the statement said.
In December, Zoabi appealed a ruling by the Knesset Ethics Committee which saw her banned from participating in sessions for six months. Her appeal was denied.