AG Rejects Petitions to Bar Hadash and Arab Parties from Elections

Israel’s attorney general rejected on Tuesday, March 5, three petitions aimed at disqualifying political parties from running in the April elections. Two petitions had been submitted to bar Hadash and Arab parties from contending in the race and one sought to bar far-right racists from joining a right wing merger.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Photo: GPO)

A petition brought against the Arab parties Ra’am-Balad claiming its members “seek to eliminate Israel as a Jewish State” and support Hezbollah and the Palestinian struggle was dismissed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit who said the accusations were not supported by evidence.

In a letter to the Israeli elections committee, Mandelblit dismissed a similar petition filed against the unified list between the Jewish-Arab Hadash Socialist front and the Ahmed Tibi’s Arab Movement for Change (Ta’al) and one of their list’s candidates, leading communist activist, Dr. Ofer Cassif. “The overall evidence presented in the framework of the two requests does not justify their acceptance, since there has not been a ‘critical mass’ of evidence required to disqualify a list of candidates,” Mandelblit said. Hadash and Ta’al recently reached an agreement to run together in the upcoming elections in the absence of an agreement between the four parties that ran together as the Joint List in the 2015 general elections.

Mandelblit announced on Thursday, February 28, his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing. Mandelblit’s decision came after three years of investigations, and it marks the first time in Israel’s history that an attorney general has decided to indict an incumbent prime minister.