Arab MK, Amir party likely to be disqualified today

MKs to vote to rule out parties running but Supreme Court makes final decision

MK Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad (photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Heba Yazbak of UAL-Balad
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Central Elections Committee will convene on Wednesday to vote on disqualifying parties and candidates from running in the March 2 election.
There is expected to be a majority on the committee for disqualifying Joint List MK Heba Yazbak for allegedly supporting terrorists and acts of terrorism against Israel. There is also expected to be enough support to disqualify the Free Trial party of  Larissa Trembovler Amir, the wife of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir.
Requests to disqualify the entire Joint List, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Gesher Meretz candidates Amir Peretz and Tamar Zandberg are expected to fail. But final decisions will be made next week by the Supreme Court, which disqualified Otzma Yehudit candidates Baruch Marzel and Benzi Gopstein ahead of the September election and Michael Ben-Ari ahead of the race in April.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit issued opinions ahead of the Central Elections Committee’s hearings that there is not enough evidence for any of the disqualifications. Regarding Yazbak, Mandelblit said there is an absence of critical mass of evidence that she was calling for conflict against the State of Israel. He condemned her but said the letter of the law prevented him from disqualifying her.
The disqualification of Yazbak was requested by Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Oded Forer and Likud MK Ophir Katz. Disqualifying the Joint List was requested by Otzma Yehudit. Trembovler Amir asked to stop Peretz and Zandberg from running. Yisrael Beytenu’s disqualification was requested by the Ani Ve’ata Party.
Trembovler Amir wrote in her appeal to the head of the committee, Supreme Court Judge Neal Hendel, that Peretz supported terrorism by meeting on multiple occasions with jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences for murdering Israeli Jews and a Christian monk. She called Zandberg “a terrorist” because she visited the grave of late Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.