Israel’s Central Elections Committee has banned Hanin Zoabi, an Arab member of Knesset from the Balad party, from running for a seat in the Israeli legislature’s upcoming elections on March 17.
The ban on Zoabi, who is the seventh-ranked candidate on the Israeli Arab political parties’ joint Knesset list, was approved in 27-6 vote. The panel’s decision must now be approved by the Israeli High Court. Last summer, the Knesset Ethics Committee decided to bar Zoabi from all Knesset plenum sessions and committee meetings for six months, following multiple complaints filed against her by fellow MKs over her anti-Israel statements. Zoabi said the Hamas perpetuators who kidnapped and murdered of Jewish teens are “not terrorists,” and she also compared Israeli soldiers to Islamic State terrorists during Operation Protective Edge.
Under Israeli law, the elections panel has the right to ban Knesset candidates if they reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, or if they incite racism and armed conflict against Israel.
The panel also barred Baruch Marzel, who is fourth on the list for the new Yachad Party, which is led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai. Marzel was formerly affiliated with the banned Kach party of Jewish Defense League founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, and has since failed to garner enough votes to enter the Knesset.