Labor Party Candidate Banned From Election

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israelis cast their votes at a Labor party polling station in Tel Aviv, on Jan. 24. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Central Election Committee, led by Supreme Court justice Uzi Fogelman, voted Wednesday to accept a petition by Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir and banned Ibtisam Mara’ana, number seven on the Labor Party’s Knesset list, from running in the election.

Her candidacy was canceled with 16 voting in favor, 15 against and two abstained.

“I submitted a request … because she is a candidate in the historic Labor Party, who despite my disagreements with its leaders today, built this country,” said Ben-Gvir.

An Israeli-Arab from Jaffo, Mara’ana has faced criticism for her anti-Zionist comments, her attacks on the IDF, and her public refusal to observe the two-minute siren on Israel’s Memorial Day.

Over the weekend, Mara’ana apologized for posts on social media bragging about having ignored the memorial siren.

“I do stand for the siren when I’m outside. I apologize that [my post] hurt a mother, father, brother or sister who lost their daughter or son – it doesn’t matter what the reasons are,” she told Channel 12.

In other social media posts, Mara’ana called Israel an “ugly” country, and claimed that the Gaza Strip is a “ghetto under brutal occupation.”

Two months ago, Mara’ana lambasted the IDF as an “occupation army,” and accused IDF soldiers of murdering an Arab child.