The High Court is giving a green light to terrorism and incitement by letting MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) run in the election, right-wing politicians said Wednesday, after the judges overturned the Central Election Committee’s decision to disqualify her.
Zoabi, who is running on The Joint List made up of Arab parties, said she expected the court’s verdict to be what it was, because the Central Election Committee’s ruling did not have a legal basis.
“My views may not be within the racist consensus, but that is allowed in democracy,” she stated.
According to Zoabi, the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu MKs who petitioned against her represent “anti-democracy, hatred and condescension” and that the High Court saw her statements – such as saying that the kidnapping of three teenage boys in Gush Etzion by Hamas members last year was not terrorism – as being within the framework of freedom of speech.
“I hope that the verdict will bring people to listen to what I say and not lying slander. The court revealed the major gap between what is attributed to me and what I said,” she added.
The Joint List leader Ayman Oudeh said the attempts to disqualify Zoabi were “another way in which the Right tries to push aside and exclude the Arab population from the Knesset and circles of influence. To their dismay, as the polls show today, The Joint List’s success is our victory over racism and hatred.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the verdict shows is a mark of shame on Israeli democracy, which does not know how to defend itself when necessary.
“The High Court’s decision is unfortunate and outrageous, because anyone with eyes in his head knows that Zoabi broke the law prohibiting anyone who supports terrorism and armed conflict against the State of Israel or rejects its existence as a Jewish state to serve in its parliament,” Liberman stated.
The Yisrael Beytenu leader said the High Court’s repeated rulings to overturn the Central Election Committee’s decisions to disqualify Arab MKs’s candidacy on the grounds that they support terrorism means the law must be amended to take this authority from the courts. Liberman vowed his party would pass a bill doing so as soon as the next Knesset is sworn in.
Meanwhile, Meretz called for the opposite, saying the Central Election Committee is too political to have the authority to ban candidates, which should belong exclusively to the courts.
MK Yariv Levin (Likud), a member of the committee, said that the High Court’s verdict says that terrorism is kosher.
“The decision shows a total disconnect between the radical left-wing elites that controls the judiciary and reality and the basic values shared by everyone to whom the State of Israel is important,” Levin stated.
Levin said the way judges are selected must be changed so that judges are people “people who are committed to the State of Israel and the Zionist idea.”
Likud MK Danny Danon said the case of Balad founder and former MK Azmi Bishara is being repeated. Bishara fled the country in 2007 while under investigation for passing on information to Hezbollah during the previous year’s Second Lebanon War.
“The High Court was wrong in the past and allowed Bishara to run for the Knesset and they were wrong today to authorize Zoabi’s candidacy,” he said. “Whoever leads a wave of incitement against the country cannot be an MK.”
Yisrael Beytenu candidate Sharon Gal said that the court “gave a green light to Zoabi to continue inciting…and her extreme actions against the State of Israel and IDF soldiers.”
“It is unfortunate that this is the message that all supporters and collaborators with terrorism are receiving,” he stated. “This supports Yisrael Beytenu’s principal that citizenship should be taken away from anyone who is not loyal [to the country].”
The High Court also allowed far-right activist Baruch Marzel to run in the election.
Following the decision, Marzel said: “I thank God for making me win, but the victory is not complete. I am only partly happy, because [the judges] compared Zoabi to me.”
Yachad’s leader Eli Yishai said that in the last two weeks since Marzel joined the list, “I got to know his great qualities, and like his name [Baruch, which means a blessing], he is a blessing to Israeli public life.
“I am very happy we are running together, and we will do great things for Torah, the people and the land,” Yishai added.
However, Yishai said he is appalled that Zoabi, who “harmed IDF soldiers during the Marmara flotilla [to Gaza in 2010]” will be able to run in the election.
Zionist Union said they accept the High Court’s decision even though they opposed both Zoabi and Marzel running.
“Marzel is the current reincarnation of Rabbi Kahane and Zoabi reprsents extremist opinions that do not belong in the Knesset, but we will fight them from within [the legislature],” a party spokesman said. “With the same determination, we will fight anyone who raises a hand against the High Court and the rule of law.”
via the Jerusalem Post