MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) will be allowed to run for the 19th Knesset, despite a
Central Elections Committee ban, the High Court of Justice ruled on
The court did not explain its ruling, as it was made with a tight
deadline, and did not say when it plans to publicize its reasoning.
committee voted to ban Zoabi from running in the January 22 election earlier
this month, on grounds of supporting terrorism and rejecting Israel as a Jewish
and democratic state in opposition to Article 7A of the Basic Law: The Knesset,
based mostly on her participation in the 2010 Gaza flotilla on the Mavi
“The court’s decision proves that the attempts to disqualify me
were political and personal persecution against me, my party and the entire Arab
public,” Zoabi stated. “The Central Elections Committee is a political body that
misuses its authority and allows politicians to ban their rivals for ideological
Zoabi added that she will not stop fighting attempts to
delegitimize her and her party.
The Balad MK’s attorney, Hassan Jabarin,
said the Central Elections Committee attempted to portray her as a terrorist,
even though she was never convicted of a crime.
According to Jabarin,
Zoabi’s participation in the Gaza flotilla is a “legitimate political step by a
MK Ophir Akunis (Likud), who submitted the request to
disqualify Zoabi to the Central Election Committee, said that he respects the
court’s decision, but thinks it is unfortunate.
“I will continue to act
via the parliamentary tools I have in order to fortify Israeli democracy and
defend it from those trying to destroy it from within,” Akunis stated.
Danny Danon (Likud) said he will not stop working to put Zoabi behind bars, and
plans to propose legislation that would ban the Balad MK from the
“Today the court decided to back the Marmara terrorist instead
of naval commando fighters [who boarded the ship],” he stated. “The law did not
do its job today. It will be changed and Zoabi can be sure that her days in the
Knesset are numbered.”
Danon started an Internet petition to bar Zoabi
from running shortly after the election was declared, and gathered 11,000
Hadash MK Dov Henin criticized Likud MKs’ attempts to
disqualify Zoabi, saying he finds it “worrying that the ruling party does not
mind harming democracy in order to gain a few more right-wing voters.”