Israel’s leading governmental party, the Likud headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the virulently racist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, August 20, demanding that it rescind last week’s decision by the Knesset’s Central Elections Committee (CEC) which rejected a petition to disqualify the Joint List from running in next month’s general elections.
The appellants to the Supreme Court argue that the representatives of the Joint List should be disqualified for incitement to “racism,” support for a terrorist organization, and the denial of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
Joint List chair, MK Ayman Odeh, condemned the Likud for participating in the racist effort to prevent political representation for Arab citizens and democratic Jews. “The request they submitted is not based on any valid reason consistent with the law that allows a list to be disqualified [but rather] on a series of fallacious contentions and racist interpretations, at the basis of which is their negation of the right of Arabs to demand equal citizenship,” said Odeh.
On Wednesday night of last week, August 14, after a full day of stormy debates, the CEC rejected three petitions submitted to it to prevent participation in the September 17 elections of the Joint List, the Blue and White party, and the racist Otzma Yehudit led by its Kahanist candidates, Itamar Ben-Gvir, Baruch Marzel and Bentzi Gopstein.
At the time MK Odeh responded: “The CEC rejected the petition against the Joint List, but in the meantime, the Likud has voted for a ‘pure’ Jewish Knesset. Otzma Yehudit may not pass the electoral threshold, but Bibi has inserted Kahanism forever into the heart of the Israeli right.”
The decision of the ruling Likud party to now appeal to the Supreme Court, together with the Kahanists from Otzma Yehudit, to reverse the decision of the CEC only further corroborates this analysis by Odeh from a week ago.
Related: Knesset Committee Rejects Petition to Bar Joint List from Election Run