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Jerusalem - Israel’s Attorney General Seeks To Disqualify Far-right Candidate Over ‘Severe And Extreme’ Racism

Published on: March 14, 2019 04:00 PM
By: JTA
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Otzma Yehudit party member, Michael Ben Ari speaks to the media after a court hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem asking to disqualify Otzma Yehudit party member Michael Ben Ari from running in the upcoming elections, March 14, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 Otzma Yehudit party member, Michael Ben Ari speaks to the media after a court hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem asking to disqualify Otzma Yehudit party member Michael Ben Ari from running in the upcoming elections, March 14, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

Jerusalem - Israel’s attorney general urged the Supreme Court to disqualify the leader of a far-right party from running in elections next month because of his “severe and extreme” racism.

Avichai Mandelblit, addressing the court during a hearing Thursday, said Michael Ben Ari’s racist ideas, which he desires to turn into reality, “constitute the candidate’s central and overriding goal … [and is] a defining expression of his identity as a candidate.”

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The hearing was held in response to a petition from several groups asking the high court to rule on the candidacy of Ben Ari and Itamar Ben Gvir of the Jewish Power party, or Otzma Yehudit. Mandelblit said Ben Gvir approaches but does not cross the line in his racism.

In one example cited by The Times of Israel from last year, Ben Ari spoke of those who speak out against Jews.

“A firing squad takes him out as the Arabs understand [best],” the report quoted him as saying.

Ben Ari says the remarks cited by the petition have been taken out of context.

His lawyer told the court that Ben Ari has “no problem” with Arab Israelis who are loyal to the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, The Times of Israel reported. But when asked by Justice Yitzhak Amit if 99 percent of Arab Israelis are considered “enemies” if they do not feel that way, the attorney replied “That’s the logic.”

Ben Ari is in the fifth slot on the joint slate of the Union of Right-Wing parties, giving him a realistic chance to join the Knesset. He served in the parliament from 2009 to 2012 as part of the National Union Party.

The court has not indicated when it will make its decision.

Earlier this month, the Central Elections Committee rejected appeals against Jewish Power running in the election in a 16-15 vote.



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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 14, 2019 at 04:40 PM Educated Archy Says:

How about the Arab MK haters?

2

 Mar 14, 2019 at 08:39 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

But Tibi is Ok?

3

 Mar 15, 2019 at 12:47 AM lazy-boy Says:

This labeling of Jewish supporters of a Jewish Israel as extremists is terrible! What about the labeling of Meretz supporters who only believe in living in pieces with the Arabs as 'one' people as extremist? They are the real nut cases!

Not to mention the Arab Knesset members who support terror, aren't they extremists?

Rather, the media labels the Jews as extremists to neutralize their effect and opinions on other Jews and stop other Jews from supporting them.

4

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