A-G Says Otzma Yehudit Candidate Should Be Barred from Running for Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -
Michael Ben Ari. (Ehud Amiton/Observation Unit)

Political opposition to the Otzma Yehudit party gained legal backing on Tuesday night, as Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an opinion stating that Michael Ben-Ari, one of the party’s leaders, should be disqualified from running for the Knesset due to incitement to racism.

Mandelblit wrote to the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer, in response to a petition against Otzma Yehudit filed by the Reform Movement and MKs Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Stav Shafir (Labor)

However, the attorney general said that the candidacy of Itamar Ben-Gvir, also cited in the petition, can be allowed to stand, for lack of evidence.

Mandelblit disqualified Ben-Ari “on grounds of incitement to racism.”

“As for Ben-Gvir, despite the fact that the evidence in his case is very disturbing and approaches the area that prevents running in the Knesset elections, in light of the stringent tests set forth in the High Court’s ruling to disqualify a candidate for elections, the request in his case should be rejected.”