The Central Election Committee (CEC) on Wednesday addressed petitions to disqualify the Otzma Yehudi party from running in the upcoming election for 22nd Knesset. Petitioners maintain the party is “racist” and “anti-democratic” because it adheres to the philosophy of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D.
The vote by committee members to disqualify the party was tied at 15:15, so this means the party is not disqualified and may run in the election for 22nd Knesset. The Labor party representatives were not present for the vote, and therefore, opponents of the party lacked a majority. Now, the opponents to the party participating in the election will be taking their case to the High Court.
Regarding a separate request, to disqualify Otzma Yehudit candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir; that vote failed with 17 opposed and 16 in favor. Hence, despite the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, both Ben-Gvir and party colleague Bentzion Gupstein may run in the election race.
MK Yair Lapid decried the decision, which he called an “outrage”, explaining there is a majority in the Central Election Committee to disqualify the party, but the Labor party representative was absent, hence, they lacked the vote required. He concluded, “If the racist party is in the Israeli Knesset, then the Labor party will be to blame”.
מה שקורה עכשיו בועדת הבחירות המרכזית זו שערורייה. יש רוב לפסילה של הגזענים מעצמה יהודית אבל הנציג של מפלגת העבודה לא נמצא בסביבה. אם הגזענות תהיה בכנסת ישראל מפלגת העבודה תהיה האשמה העיקרית.
— יאיר לפיד Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 14, 2019
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)