The High Court of Justice on Tuesday accepted a petition filed by Strong Israel
and Balad over a Central Elections Committee decision to ban certain parts of
each parties’ election campaign broadcasts.
The court reversed the
decision of Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and
granted permission for all aspects of the parties’ campaigns to be
Ophir Bar-Zohar, spokeswoman of nonprofit Palestinian-run
legal center Adalah, said it “praises the High Court for accepting all of the
claims of the Balad party, according to which the purpose of the broadcast was
to voice criticism in a satirical manner on the attempt to legislate an
obligation on Arab citizens to declare loyalty to the national
She added that the High Court’s decision “clarified
unequivocally that the broadcast was covered by freedom of speech” principles
and could not be limited or banned.
Strong Israel responded to the
ruling, saying the decision to “block their broadcast had caused them injustice”
and that the court’s ruling reaffirmed their right to raise questions about the
balance of rights and obligations in the Israeli Arab sector.
reversing the committee’s decision, Supreme Court President Justice Asher
Grunis said the balance of the considerations, including the fact that
Balad’s broadcast had already been uploaded and played a vast number of times on
the Internet and used in foreign media all over the world.
He added that,
“it may be time to reevaluate the law in light of the changing unforeseen
realities,” referring to the fact that current election law may not fully
ancitipate the impact and speed with which broadcasts can be shared and go viral