This morning Israel’s Supreme Court banned Michael Ben-Ari, the leader of the Jewish Power party, from running in next month’s elections.
This is an important move: It shows that racism and the dehumanisation of minorities, in particular Palestinians, is unacceptable, and that people who incite to violence are not appropriate Knesset candidates.
Today’s decision is a victory for inclusion and tolerance and a defeat for hatred and racism.
We are very proud of our grantee, the Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC), which appealed to the Supreme Court to ban Ben-Ari. Thank you also to all of NIF Australia's supporters who signed the petition to the Central Elections Committee opposing Ben-Ari's candidacy.
Last week we gave background on this issue in the sixth episode of our Israel election preview.
We noted that the attorney general had recommended banning Ben-Ari for his “severe and extreme” racism and opposed attempts to ban the Palestinian-Israeli Balad party, and Ofer Kassif, a Jewish member of the joint Jewish-Arab Hadash party.
The Knesset election is now just 22 days away and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud party appear to have pulled ahead of their chief rivals, Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s Blue and White party.