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Ben-Ari Not Worried About Threshold Law

Former MK warns upcoming law meant to silence ideological parties, says Otzma Leyisrael will continue and won't lose its values.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/7/2014, 1:14 AM

Michael Ben-Ari
Michael Ben-Ari
Flash 90

Former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, who co-chaired the Otzma Leyisrael party in the last elections with former MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad, is not concerned about the raising of the Knesset threshold, which is expected to be passed in the coming days.

Otzma Leyisrael missed out in the last Knesset elections by a mere 9,000 votes. With the new legislation, the threshold would rise from 2% to 3.5%, making entry for smaller ideological parties such as Ben-Ari's more challenging.

Ben-Ari spoke to Arutz Sheva, warning that the new law was designed to silence ideological parties. "In the future they'll want to raise the threshold even more and only leave the centrist parties, but we at Otzma Yisrael will continue to lead the right-wing public."

The former MK remarked, "I'm not worried. I'll continue taking action like I did before I was an MK." Since the last elections Ben-Ari has remained very active, founding the extra-parliamentary Fund to Save Israel, as well as teaching at Ariel University.

As for the decision to run again for the Knesset, Ben-Ari stresses that he hasn't decided yet, but made clear that Otzma Leyisrael would run. He added that the number of mandates the party gets doesn't matter, saying "even if the surveys were to give us a tenth of the votes, there's an importance to having an ideological party that won't give up on its Jewish and Zionist values run."

In February, Ben-Ari slammed Jewish Home for "selling out" on its values to be part of the coalition, charging "you've lost all boundaries, bending your knees before the reform-Jews is the main thing to look successful."

Ben-Ari's accusations stemmed from various actions, such as Jewish Home MKs voting or abstaining on a bill to give same-sex couples equal tax breaksnot attending a vote on a bill to make it harder for Jerusalem to be divided, and staying in the government as it released terrorist murderers in a "gesture" for peace talks.