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Israel’s Higher Court Looks Into Disqualifying Arab Parties

Israel’s Higher Court Looks Into Disqualifying Arab Parties

Thursday, 14 March, 2019 - 13:00
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al-Awsat
Amid a tense atmosphere, Israel’s Supreme Court started on Wednesday looking into a decision by the Central Elections Committee to bar the candidacy of Dr. Ofer Kassif, who is allied with the Arabs within the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and other Arab movements.

Wednesday’s session ended without an immediate decision, as the court is due to issue its ruling by Sunday.

The Central Election Committee (CEC), a political committee mainly dominated by the right, has barred last week Kassif’s candidacy, along with another Arab list, upon a request by members of the far-right Knesset, as well as the other Arab list. According to the electoral law, the Supreme Court must approve the decisions to become effective and enforceable.

The court session witnessed sharp debate, tension, and exchange of accusations between Arab deputies and representatives of the right.

Kassif said he was ready to apologize for some of his remarks if the head of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, apologized for his statements against Arab Israeli citizens (Palestinians of 1948).

Lieberman's representative responded by saying that it was “unreasonable for a person to enter the Knesset and [at the same time] claims that Israel is a Nazi state and that attacking IDF soldiers is permissible and not an act of terrorism.”

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