Knesset (Israeli parliament) Ethics Committee slams 'unprecedented' attempt by MK Anastassia Michaeli to forcefully remove Arab MK Zoabi from podium on June 2, 2010, two days after Zoabi participated in the 2010 Gaza flotilla
MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) was reprimanded by the Knesset's Ethics Committee Tuesday for attempting to use physical force against MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) in order to remove the latter from the podium during a heated debate on her participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla.
Security guards halted Michaeli in her tracks before she reached the podium and she was removed from the plenum while an Arab MK called after her, "Go back to Russia."
Zoabi filed a number of complaints after the stormy hearing, which occurred on June 2, 2010. Among the names she was called by Knesset members of various parties are "traitor", "murderer", "Trojan horse", and "terrorist". MK Yoel Hasson wanted guards to check if she was carrying a concealed weapon.
The Ethics Committee, however, chose to focus on Michaeli's treatment of Zoabi because it was "unprecedented".
"The committee found no precedent in which an MK attempted to disrupt a speaker physically and believes this constitutes a crossing of lines that cannot be ignored," the committee members wrote in their decision.
Michaeli responded by saying she had behaved according to her convictions, but that she had not intended to be violent.
"I ascended the stage in order to get speaking rights. I felt I had to act out against those who take part in hateful and terrorist flotillas against the state and do everything in their power to harm its Jewish and democratic character," she said.
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