High Court rules against bumping Otzma up URP list

The High Court of Justice rejected Union of Right-Wing Parties candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir’s petition to be moved from seventh to fifth place on his party’s list.

April 1, 2019 05:48
1 minute read.
Itamar Ben-Gvir

Itamar Ben-Gvir from the Otzma Yehudit party, attends a hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem March 13, 2019. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)


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The High Court of Justice rejected Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir’s petition to be moved from seventh to fifth place on his party’s list.

Justice Noam Solberg, who is considered a conservative judge, said: “the petitioners’ request is to replace an existing law with another arrangement, to create a new creature out of nothing, a legal construction that will allow revising lists of candidates in situations such as this, and require us to compile a new, detailed, alternative arrangement.

“We cannot do this,” he wrote. “The legislature is the right home for such [actions]. We are meant to judge, not legislate.”

Justice Alex Stein, who is also considered conservative, gave a rebuttal, saying the change can be publicized quickly without any harm to the election process.

When URP submitted its list, Otzma Yehudit representatives former MK Michael Ben-Ari and Ben-Gvir were put in fifth and eighth place. URP is made up of Bayit Yehudi, National Union and Otzma.

The High Court banned Ben-Ari from running, on grounds of racist incitement. This was the first time an individual candidate, as opposed to an entire list, was disqualified from an election.

The ruling bumped Ben-Gvir up to seventh place, but he petitioned the Central Elections Committee to change the list so he can move into fifth and Otzma representative Yitzhak Wasserlauf can be in eighth, even though the deadline to submit lists for the election passed. Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Hanan Melcer rejected the request last week.

Ben-Gvir said the decision proves that “the last thing that interests the High Court is justice…but I believe the public will have its say at the ballots.

“It’s interesting that when it comes to the Left, the High Court blatantly intervenes and interprets the law in far-reaching ways,” he added. “But in our case, it did not think it was right to do so.”

The Otzma candidate vowed that he will “put an end to the High Court’s rule” when he’s in the Knesset.

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