MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) says she has never supported an armed struggle against Israel, responding to requests seeking to disqualify her candidacy in the March 17 election due to statements allegedly hostile to the state.
“I have never called for support of an armed struggle,” Zoabi said in an affidavit. “I have never supported an armed struggle. I have never written an article supporting an armed struggle, and I have never given a speech supporting such a struggle.”
Balad is running on the Joint List ticket made up of Arab parties and the Arab-Jewish Hadash party.
Zoabi made her assertion in an affidavit submitted to the Central Elections Committee and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. On Thursday the committee, headed by Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, is due to consider all requests to disqualify candidates.
During consultations on the requests to remove Zoabi, Weinstein’s office approached the MK’s lawyer, Hassan Jabareen of the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, seeking the affidavit, sources have told Haaretz.
The affidavit was requested to provide clarifications on Zoabi’s views on statements submitted by Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, which aim to ban her candidacy.
The fact that she was asked to provide an affidavit rather than simply written responses in a letter from her lawyer reportedly suggests that Weinstein will oppose dropping her from the Arab slate.
But sources linked to the slate said the chances of halting the effort to disqualify Zoabi via an election-committee decision were slim. They said the issue would be decided by the Supreme Court, where Weinstein’s stance carries more weight.
The affidavit also gave details on the Joint List platform. According to the statement, “Joint List will demand recognition of the Arab population as a national minority with collective rights, along with its right to management of its cultural, educational and religious affairs.”
According to the statement, “the Palestinians in Israel are an inseparable part of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation.”