Otzma on disqualification: Israel is not a democracy, it’s a judicial junta

Meretz boasts about getting Ben Ari out of the running.

March 17, 2019 23:38
2 minute read.
Otzma Yehudit

An ad for the Otzma Yehudit party with Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Baruch Marzel, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Bentzi Gopstein on a bus in Jerusalem, March, 2019. (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)


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Judges want to control our lives, Otzma Yehudit candidate Michael Ben-Ari lamented Sunday after the High Court ruled to disqualify him the upcoming election.

Otzma called a press conference following the ruling, in which Ben-Ari said: “They say Israel is a democracy, but it’s a junta of judges.”
“Balad and Ofer Kassif” of Hadash – whose disqualifications by the Central Elections Committee were reversed in the High Court, thereby allowing them to run for the Knesset – “call to harm my son, a combat soldier in the Givati Brigade,” Ben-Ari said. “We will win. This is not the end... We will put an end to the judicial junta.”

Rafi Peretz, leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, the bloc in which Otzma is running, also slammed the court, saying Israel only looks like a democracy.

“The legislative branch took upon itself the right to vote from Israeli citizens in an unprecedented way,” he said, vowing to work to “block the High Court judges’ harm to democracy.”

Peretz called Ben-Ari “a Jewish Zionist whose sons are serving in the IDF.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called the ruling “a serious mistake and the whole public will pay for it dearly. Balad, a party that rejects Israel as a Jewish State, has no place in the Knesset, nor does whoever gives legitimacy to hurting IDF soldiers,” he said in an apparent reference to Kassif.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Meretz expressed satisfaction with the outcome of their petition, releasing an image of Ben-Ari with the text: “Bibi brought him in, Meretz got him out.”

Meretz MK Esawi Frej called the ruling “a red card to racism and proof that [the High Court] is the last bastion of democracy and rule of law in Israel.”

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said, “There are judges in Jerusalem who know how to set limits and make sure ethics and proper behavior are observed.”

Kassif said he is happy the court reversed his disqualification, saying justice had been done.

“This was a shameful political attempt by Kahanists,sponsored by [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Kassif said. “Despite the attempt to reduce the Democratic discourse and silence resistance to a discriminatory government, I will continue to speak about ending the occupation and working toward peace and equality.”

UAL-Balad said the court ruling confirmed that the Central Elections Committee vote to ban them was “political and lacking any evidence... coming only from the political systems fear of the list’s platform, which challenges the Zionist discourse based on supremacy against anyone who is not Jewish.”

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