MK Ben-Ari tearing up a New Testament 370.
(photo credit: Itamar Ben-Gvir)
Former Labor Young Guard chairman and current party primary candidate Eran Hermoni submitted a request to the Central Election Committee on Friday to bar MK Michael Ben-Ari’s (National Union) candidacy for the 19th Knesset.
Citing the Knesset’s banning of Meir Kahane’s far-right Kach party in 1988 for inciting racism, alongside section 7A of the Knesset’s Basic Law, Hermoni listed reasons for proposing Ben-Ari’s disqualification in a letter to the Committee.
“In 1994, Kach was even defined as a terrorist organization and outlawed,” Hermoni asserted. “And now it seems that 25 years after the Supreme Court’s ruling... the unacceptable ideology of the Kach movement and Kahane is still alive and kicking and openly represented by Michael Ben-Ari.”
Hermoni stated that Ben-Ari was an active member of Kach, and unashamedly and openly believes in Kahane’s teachings, as written on the National Union website: “Ben-Ari describes himself as a disciple and successor of Rabbi Kahane, and supports transferring many of Israel’s Arabs and disobeying orders to evacuate settlements.”
Hermoni also cited an interview Ben-Ari gave to Ynet in 2009, in which he said that “everyone understands that Kahane was right,” and admitted to being a “disciple and successor” of the rabbi.
He concluded that the State of Israel cannot accept a legislature that “spreads racial hatred against citizens of Israel and the Arab minority,” and should pursue legal means to prevent Ben-Ari and people like him from serving in the Knesset.
Hermoni then urged the Elections Committee to bar Ben-Ari “in order to preserve Israeli democracy.”
Ben-Ari responded by lashing out at both Hermoni and the Labor party: “Someone who is a member of the Labor party, which is a friend of the murderer [Yasser] Arafat and which legitimized him, and whose members cooperated with [Balad MK] Haneen Zoabi and [United Arab List-Ta’al MK] Ahmed Tibi in the last Knesset, is the last person who can preach morals to me and request to disqualify me.”
Bar-Ari also took a dig at Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich for having “admitted” to voting for Balad in the past. “The people of the Left have no problem with terrorists in the Knesset, but they have an intense will to shut me up.”