The leftist "Zionist camp" joint list of Labor and Hatnua will support the barring of radical Arab nationalist MK Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset, according to a report on Thursday by Channel 2.
Apparently the party of Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni will support the barring of Zoabi – but on condition that a petition be presented to bar activist Baruch Marzel of Otzma Yehudit, who is number four of Yachad – Ha'am Itanu's list, and against whom a petition has already been filed.
It is anticipated that Labor opposition to Zoabi's candidacy would likely lead the recently formed joint Arab list to not support a leftist government formed by Labor, if it was able to beat out Likud in mandates to get first crack at forming a coalition.
Marzel submitted a petition on Wednesday to bar not only Zoabi but the entire united Arab list of Hadash, Balad, Ra'am and Ta'al, noting that members of the party publicly expressed opposition to Israel's status as a Jewish state which is illegal according to the law.
The petition noted that several candidates, primarily Zoabi, have given vocal support to terrorists such as Hamas in their efforts to destroy Israel, and promote "the armed struggle of Israel's enemies and terror groups against Israel, which according to the Basic Law: Knesset prevents then from running in an election."
The petition included comments made by Zoabi over the years, including one statement with Russian media in which she said "I have no problem with Iran, and I am very supportive of all the groups fighting the occupation of the Palestinians by Israel. I certainly support any and all groups fighting the occupation."
In a separate interview, MK Ahmed Tibi said that he had marched with terrorists in a town controlled by the Palestinian Authority, as they proudly wore suicide vests loaded with explosives and carried automatic weapons. Tibi led the march, and called on those participating to “end the occupation."
“I am going to wipe the smirk off Hanin Zoabi's face,” said Marzel. “She advocates the killing of IDF soldiers, and the murders of children."
Petition for "racism"?
Just before Marzel's petition Arab MK Issawi Freij (Meretz) submitted a petition to bar Marzel and Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, accusing them of "racism."
Joining that petition, the Coalition Against Racism submitted its own petition against Marzel on Thursday.
The group claimed that Marzel negates Israel's status as a democratic state which is illegal, and that he incites "racism." It also noted that Marzel speaks frequently about the ideology of former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane hy''d; Marzel was an aide to the rabbi when he was in the Knesset.
In the petition it was noted that Rabbi Kahane's Kach party was barred from the Knesset, and a call was made to likewise bar Marzel. The barring of Kach came due to a bill that was passed particularly targeting the party, and which outlawed any party denying the democratic and Jewish nature of Israel, as well as "racist" parties – the bill did not define what constituted a racist party.
Responding to the law at the time, Rabbi Kahane argued that it technically outlawed every party, because every party would either support the right of Arab citizens of Israel to become a majority and vote the country into being an Arab state – thereby denying the Jewish nature of Israel, or else oppose that right – thereby denying the democratic nature. His call was instead to transfer all hostile Arab residents out of Israel and establish a democracy of Jews.
The Coalition Against Racism petition noted that a similar petition against Marzel was defeated when he ran for the 16th Knesset on the second spot of the Herut – Hatnua Haleumit party.
Otzma Yehudit leader and former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari previously predicted that a petition against the party would be filed in the Central Election Committee, as leftists have done in previous elections; he also noted that previous attempts have failed.