The High Court of Justice on Sunday overturned the rulings of the Central Election Committee, disqualifying Otzma Yehudit candidate Dr. Michael Ben-Ari from running for Knesset and permitting the candidacy of Ofer Ksif and all Arab parties to run for 21st Knesset.
The decision of the Supreme Court to disqualify Dr. Michael Ben-Ari from running for the 21st Knesset aroused great resentment among the right-wing parties, but the anger did not remain there, and the chareidi parties and the various politicians reacted harshly to the judges’ decision. While angered over the decision, Otzma Yehudit officials admitted they were not at all surprised.
It should be noted that in the last Knesset elections, the Central Election Committee disqualified Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, who openly expresses support with Hamas and other terrorist organizations and has compared IDF soldiers to Nazis. That ruling was overturned by the High Court as well and she entered the 20th Knesset but has recently announced she is not seeking another term.
Deputy Minister Meir Porush said that “the High Court of Justice ruled that the will of the voter should not be taken into account. But if we do not end this, the court will not be satisfied with just disqualification, but will also intervene and appoint candidates to serve in the Knesset from all the parties and thus complete its revolution.”
Degel Hatorah chairman, MK Gafne, responded by saying, “it turns out time and again that we were right when we said that the Supreme Court has no authority to intervene in matters of conscience and values, religion and state, and everything that accompanies this matter. This time they outdid themselves. They take someone and say he cannot run in the elections, as they decided they are the people. Those who were disappointed today in the court hearing should listen to what we said then, that the court will do as he wishes and will run the country. This is a serious thing and we will regret the great authority that we have given to the Supreme Court, and we will now have to reconsider this whole matter.”
Yachad party chairman, former Shas leader Eli Yishai, said, “the court’s decision is a disgrace to the Knesset. The Knesset, which failed to limit the power of the High Court of Justice and place it in its proper and dignified place, will do only its intended role. In the next Knesset, the Yachad party will be there to restore power to the people, to the public representatives. Vote Yachad and thus we will lead a genuine democratic revolution. Together we win!”
Shas also responded by saying, “it has been proven again that the High Court of Justice is taking over with its powers and disrupting the democratic process. It begins with a blatant intervention in matters of religion and state, and tonight the court disqualifies a person from standing up for public elections and takes a standstill because of foreign political considerations. Shas will continue to act and promote the legislation to curb judicial activism towards properly expressing the will of the people.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)