The Supreme Court has accepted both the appeals by MK Hanin Zoabi and Otzma Yehudit candidate Baruch Marzel, it announced Wednesday – against the decision of the Central Election Committee (CEC) who decided to disqualify them from participating in the next Knesset.
Earlier this month, the Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify Zoabi, with 27 votes for and 6 against the ban; Marzel was banned by a close 17-16 vote. Both parties appealed.
The announcement was met with disdain from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who stated that "allowing Hanin Zoabi to serve again in the Knesset is a mark of shame on the forehead of Israeli democracy, who does not know how to defend itself democratically when it needs it."
Liberman further called the decision "unfortunate and outrageous, because any sensible person knows Zoabi broke the law barring those who support terrorism and the armed struggle against Israel or denies its existence as a Jewish state to serve in its parliament."
He added that his Yisrael Beytenu's party aims to change the Supreme Court's "recurring choice" to overturn elections bans, referring to the 2013 decision to re-qualify Zoabi after another ban from the CEC.
Marzel's attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir, had a slightly more positive outlook, calling the decision "half-correct."
"There was no doubt that the court should disqualify the female terrorist Zoabi and not allow the enemy who hates Israel to run for Knesset," Ben-Gvir stated Wednesday afternoon. "There is no room to compare it with the likes of Israelis as Baruch Marzel, especially as the evidence against the terrorist was strong and well-established and against Marzel there was nothing provocative, and only the political appeal of radical leftists who do not know what democracy is."
Earlier this week, Ben-Gvir charged in the appeal that the evidence against Marzel had been flimsy – and probably doctored – whereas the body of evidence against Zoabi is widely-known. Zoabi has made a number of public statements against Israel, and even wrote an essay supporting Hamas published on the terror group's website during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza over the summer.