Zoabi took an active part in a 2010 Turkish flotilla that aimed to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. She sailed aboard the Mavi Marmara, the ship where clashes between IDF commandos and activists claimed the lives of nine activists. For many in Israel, this called her loyalty to Israel into question.
On Sunday, a petition seeking to disqualify Zoabi was submitted by the committee’s Deputy Chairman MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) to the committee’s chairman, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein. The request had been signed by 13 of the Central Election Committee’s 36 members, the number required when the request is submitted against a single MK and not an entire faction (in which case the request can be submitted by a single Knesset member). At present, a majority of committee members favor Zoabi’s disqualification. Should she be disqualified, she can appeal the decision to the High Court of Justice.
“I have no doubt that the Central Elections Committee will approve my request, as will the Supreme Court, which will certainly deliberate the appeal,” MK Akunis said on Sunday night. “The High Court will have difficulty countering the argument that Zoabi transgressed clause 7a of Basic Law: The Knesset. She has ceaselessly sabotaged the state of Israel and openly incited against its government, institutions, IDF soldiers and commanders. She also took part in the Mavi Marmara flotilla.”