Parties aim to get Otzma Yehudit disqualified

"Followers of [the late Far Right rabbi] Meir Kahane do not belong in a parliament under the portrait of [Zionist visionary Theodore] Herzl," Lapid said.

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August 5, 2019 19:58
1 minute read.
Parties aim to get Otzma Yehudit disqualified

The far-right Otzma Yehudit Party registers for the September elections. (photo credit: DAVID DIMOLFETTA)

Blue and White and Meretz will petition the Central Elections Committee to disqualify the far-right party Otzma Yehudit from running in the September 17 election, MKs in both parties announced on Monday.

Petitions to disqualify Otzma Yehudit as a whole were rejected ahead of the April election. But former MK Michael Ben-Ari was prevented from running.

“Followers of [the late far-right Rabbi] Meir Kahane do not belong in a parliament under the portrait of [Zionist visionary Theodore] Herzl,” Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid said on KAN Radio.

Lapid reacted to an initiative by the Likud’s representative on the Central Elections Committee, MK David Bitan, to have no petitions to disqualify any parties or candidates.

Bitan explained his initiative by saying that the disqualification process already happened ahead of the April election, and there was no need to repeat it.

In the April election, Otzma Yehudit ran as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, and its only two candidates were Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was permitted to run. This time, Otzma is running independently, with more controversial figures on its list.

Its No. 2 candidate, Hebron activist Baruch Marzel, was Kahane’s parliamentary aide when he was an MK before their Kach Party was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.

There are also expected to be petitions to disqualify No. 5 candidate Bentzi Gopstein, an activist against mixed marriages who has made controversial statements on Arabs.


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