You’ll have to pardon me for asking whether a decision by the Knesset’s election committee to bar two of three Arab political parties from running in next month’s elections isn’t more reminiscent of Iran than of western democracies. The ayatollahs control who runs for the parliament and reject candidates practically because they wear the wrong color shoes and other such idiocies. Israel isn’t far behind Iran I’m afraid:
The Central Elections Committee (CEC) yesterday banned the Arab parties United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad from running in next month’s parliamentary elections amid accusations of racism from Arab MKs. Both parties intend to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.
Members of the CEC conceded yesterday that the chance of the Supreme Court’s upholding the ban on both parties was slim.
Arab faction delegates in the CEC walked out of the hall before the vote, shouting, “this is a fascist, racist state.”
…The CEC voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motions, accusing the country’s Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
The requests to ban the Arab parties were filed by two ultra right parties Yisrael Beiteinu and National Union-National Religious Party.
Senior Labor Party figures lashed out at the party’s CEC representative, Eitan Cabel, who voted in favor of banning the two Arab parties.
This passage is filled with the most incredible set or ironies. First, the two Jewish parties who brought the complaint themselves don’t believe in Israeli democracy. Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of one of them often says publicly that Arab leaders should be strung up on lamp posts and that Israeli human rights lawyers are kapos. Delightful stuff.
Further, the LABOR PARTY’s representative to this committee voted in favor of banning the Arab parties! If this doesn’t indicate how absolutely bankrupt that party has become, I don’t know what does.
Finally, the Arabs are accused of not recognizing the state of Israel yet they are duly chosen members of Knesset. You’d think if they didn’t recognize Israel their first decision would be to boycott Knesset. Balad is accused of supporting terrorist groups because it has sent Knesset members to visit Syria and Lebanon and met with Hezbollah. A few right wingnuts tried this on Nancy Pelosi after she met with Bashir Assad in Syria. They wanted to try her for violating the Logan Act. That idea went far. But there’s a difference between the Wall street Journal advocating sheer lunacy and a duly authorized committee of the Knesset voting to eradicate the voting rights of much of the Arab minority by wiping their chosen parties from the election rolls.
And make no mistake, the flag-waving patriotism of most Israelis in the face of its savagery in Gaza is what motivates this Israeli racism against its Arab citizens. Israeli Jewish politicians see no downside in attacking the rights of the non-Jewish minority. After all, it’s open season on anyone within Israel even remotely associated with Hamas. If you love Israeli democracy this should be damn scary stuff even if the Supreme Court undoes this travesty.
Thanks to Assaf Oron for noting this story.