Far-right coalition lawmakers are reportedly putting together a proposal that would change the criteria for banning Leftists and Arab candidates from running for the Knesset, making it easier to push them out.
According to a report Tuesday by Channel 12 news, the bill being advanced by coalition chairman MK Ofir Katz (Likud) will make it possible to bar candidates for isolated comments deemed “supportive of terror, including support for an attacker, rather than an entire terror group.” Among the acts that would be construed as support for terror would be visiting the family of an attack suspect.
Such criteria would disqualify all of the current Hadash-Ta’al lawmakers in the Knesset.
“There’s no democracy with apartheid,” Hadash demonstrators marching at Kaplan Street in Tel-Aviv with red flags and anti-occupation slogans, Saturday, January 21, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)
In addition, the bill would enable disqualifying an entire party from running, even if it is part of a joint slate with other parties, like the former “Joint List”. The report said coalition heads agreed when setting up the government to pursue legislation aimed at kicking Left and Arab-led parties out of the Knesset, but are concerned that any such measure would be quashed by the High Court, and so are waiting for legislation that will shackle the court’s ability to strike down laws. That legislation, known as the override clause, is a key part of a planned judicial overhaul that will significantly shift power from the courts to fascist politicians.
MK Ayman Odeh, leader of Hadash-Ta’al alliance, responded to the report in a tweet, saying “the struggle for democracy needs to be a struggle for democracy for all.” “We, the Arabs, cannot block the fascists by ourselves, but without us, the democratic Jews also can’t,” he said.
According to Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman, the far-right government plans to ban Left and Palestinian parties and candidates with a new bill. “By doing so it wishes to silence all critical voices against the occupation and to deny representation from the Arab citizens of Israel. This is apartheid legislation.”
Last month the racist Otzma Yehudit party said that in coalition negotiations Netanyahu had agreed with its leader Itamar Ben Gvir to pass legislation that will end a ban on individuals who incite to racism serving in the Knesset. The move appeared to be a bid by Ben Gvir, now the national security minister, to allow far-right allies previously barred from the Knesset over racist comments and positions to run for parliament in the future.