Israel’s Parliament Bans Candidate in Decision Likely To Be Reversed
The Israeli parliament’s Central Elections Committee on Wednesday voted to disqualify a Labor party candidate from running in the upcoming March elections, a largely symbolic move that is widely expected to be overturned by the country’s Supreme Court. In what has become a predictable affair, the Knesset’s election committee, consisting of representatives of the various parties that make up the parliament, voted to ban Arab Israeli filmmaker Ibtisam Mara’ana from running for office, citing controversial statements the Arab Israeli candidate made nearly a decade ago regarding Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Similar to past disqualifications, which require only a simple majority in the committee to pass, Wednesday’s decision will proceed to the Supreme Court, where it is likely to be struck down. The more interesting vote on the committee’s schedule was the one to disqualify the two Arab candidates’ lists, a move that usually garners the support of the right-wing Likud party. This time, apparently thanks to a behind-the-scenes deal between Likud head Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Arab lawmaker Mansour Abbas, the Likud abstained from the vote, allowing the parties to run unchallenged.