High Court to rule on extremist Jewish, Arab candidates for Knesset

Previously, the Central Elections Committee disqualified Dr. Ofer Kassif of the Arab Hadash party from running for Knesset.

March 13, 2019 02:47
1 minute read.
Ofer Cassif

Ofer Cassif. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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In a whirlwind of legal filings, the High Court of Justice is due in the coming days to determine the electoral eligibility of extremist Jewish and Arab candidates and Arab parties to run for the Knesset.

Previously, the Central Elections Committee disqualified Dr. Ofer Kassif of the Arab Hadash Party from running for Knesset, while permitting extreme right Oztma Party activists Michael Ben Ari and the Hadash-Ta’al parties to run.
The committee’s decision ignored the recommendation of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit that Kassif be allowed to run because his anti-Israel statements were objectionable but not disqualifying, while he had recommended disqualifying Ben Ari due to incitement and racism.

Previously, Adalah filed a petition to the High Court to reinstate Kassif, and on Tuesday it filed a petition declaring the committee’s decisions unconstitutional and seeking to remove the committee’s authority to rule on such issues.

On Tuesday, Otzma filed a petition to disqualify the Hadash-Ta’al parties and Meretz filed a petition late Tuesday to disqualify Ben Ari.

The High Court will hear the petitions regarding Kassif and regarding the Hadash-Ta’al parties on Wednesday and is expected to hear the other petitions and render decisions within days since the April 9 election is just around the corner.

Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman said that he respectfully disagreed with Mandelblit’s recommendations and hoped that the High Court did not interfere with the committee’s decisions.

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