(JNS/Israel Hayom) Israel’s top court on Feb. 9 struck down a decision to disqualify an Arab politician from running in next month’s parliamentary election.
The High Court of Justice voted 5-4 to overturn the Central Elections Committee’s ruling to bar Heba Yazbak, a lawmaker from the Balad Party, which is part of the Joint Arab List faction, saying there was no legal basis for her disqualification.
The committee voted 28-7 last month to bar Yazbak following a series of social media posts in which she lauded terrorists, including Hezbollah and Palestine Liberation Front member Samir Kuntar, who led the 1979 Nahariya terror attack in which four Israelis were killed.
Adalah, a legal advocacy group for Israel’s Arab minority, said in response to the decision that Yazbak’s disqualification had “one sole purpose: To delegitimize and demonize the political representation of Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
The Likud denounced the court’s ruling as “disgraceful,” saying that it would be playing into the hands of the Blue and White Party, which would need the Joint Arab List’s support to form a coalition should Blue and White leader Benny Gantz defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 2.
Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman said in response to the ruling that “this is a very unfortunate decision by the High Court of Justice. Yazbak and her ilk should be MPs in Ramallah not in the Israeli Knesset. The fact that the court overturned the Election Committee’s decision is a reward for the supporters of terrorism. Yisrael Beiteinu will never cooperate with the Joint Arab List, and we recommend Netanyahu and Gantz not do so, either.”