Extreme Right-Wing MKs Attempt to Ban Palestinian Arab Political Parties from Upcoming Elections

Date: 2012/12/17
on Thursday, December 13th, Yisrael Beitenu MK David Rotem, National Union MK Michael Ben Ari, and Otzma Leyisrael MK Aryeh Eldad submitted requests to the CEC to disqualify the Balad party and the United Arab List- Ta'al party from the elections on similar allegations.

Haifa--- On Sunday, December 9, 2012, Likud MK Ofir Akunis submitted a request to the Central Elections Committee (CEC) to ban Balad MK Hanin Zoabi from the upcoming Knesset (parliamentary) elections.  His stated reason was her rejection of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and her participation in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which he considers an act of terrorism.   Additionally, on Thursday, December 13th, Yisrael Beitenu MK David Rotem, National Union MK Michael Ben Ari, and Otzma Leyisrael MK Aryeh Eldad submitted requests to the CEC to disqualify the Balad party and the United Arab List- Ta'al party from the elections on similar allegations. 
Since 2003, extreme right-wing MKs have called for the banning of Palestinian Arab parties in every election.  Each time there is an individual request, the CEC (which is comprised of proportional representation from each party in the Knesset) has voted in favor of the bans.  However, the Israeli Supreme Court always has voted against the decisions and the parties are allowed to continue with their campaigns.  Palestinian Arab MKs can only hope that the Supreme Court will once again vote on the side of justice and democratic values.
Numerous national polls predict that the upcoming Knesset will be comprised of even more extreme and right-wing members than the past 18th Knesset.  The current attempts to ban Hanin Zoabi, Balad, and the United Arab List-Ta'al are just a few examples of the types of anti-democratic actions that the Mossawa Center expects from the 19th Knesset.  Further consequences of the predicted 19th Knesset, in which "Likud-Beitenu" has a majority of seats, are discussed in a new Mossawa Center report.  The report, "The 2013 Israeli Elections and the Consequences for the Palestinian Arab Minority," explains how the 18th Knesset has discriminated against the Palestinian minority in Israel and how the 19thKnesset is expected to exacerbate this discrimination.  It provides a "watchlist" for the international community to monitor, which includes "red-lines" such as the implementation of the Prawer plan, a law to draft Palestinian citizens into national service, the continued renewal of the "Citizenship and Entry" law and more. 
The Mossawa Center plans to host a round-table discussion with representatives from Palestinian Arab political movements in Israel in early January.  The Center will continue to update the international community in the coming weeks in light of election developments.  The Mossawa Center report on the 2013 Elections will be released this week.  

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