|Supreme Court: MK Zoabi can run for Knesset|
|Monday, 31 December 2012 16:55|
Special, nine-judge panel renders on Sunday unanimous ruling overturning Central Election Committee's decision to disqualify Knesset member from the Arab nationalist Balad party from nearing elections. "The court's decision proves that the attempts to have me disqualified were the result of political and personal persecution against me, against my party and against the Arab public as a whole," MK Hanin Zoabi said in a statement released moments after the ruling.
"The motions to have me disqualified were devoid of any legal merit. Still, this ruling does little to erase the threats, de-legitimization and physical as well as verbal abuse that I have endured – in and outside the Knesset – over the past three years." The ruling, she added, "Proves that the Election Committee abused its authority. Balad and I will not be deterred by the de-legitimization attempts made against us."
Hadash activists' demonstration against racism in Tel-Aviv (Photo: Al Ittihad)
Attorney Hassan Jabarin, head of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, who represented Zoabi, welcomed the decision: "All disqualification motions against Arab parties and Knesset members over the past 15 years had no legal merit and were meant only to delegitimize elected Arab officials." "Zoabi's case is different because there was also an attempt by the Right wing of the Knesset to portray her at a terrorist, despite the fact the she has never been charged of any crime. "We welcome the ruling, which above all shows that the Central Election Committee was wrong," said Jabarin, "We won't allow anyone – in or outside of the Knesset – to decide the Arab public's position or limit our political aspirations. We will continue fighting against racism and the occupation and we will continue to dutifully represent the Arab public."
Attorney Nidal Othman, of the Coalition against Racism, welcomed the decision: "The court proved today that it was a beacon of sanity in the midst of the racist atmosphere in Israel. "The Elections Committee's racist decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, which upheld its duty as the protector of elected officials."
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) slammed his extreme-right counterparts for trying to ban Zoabi and commented on the Supreme Court's decision to allow MK Zoabi to run for the Knesset, saying that the court "thwarted a takeover attempt by Netanyahu." "It's very disconcerting that the ruling party will stop at nothing, even compromise democracy, to gain a few more ballots," said MK Khenin.Related:
Hadash against move to disqualify MK Zoabi from running for re election
|Last Updated on Monday, 31 December 2012 17:03|