Petition to Block Joint Arab List from Knesset

Yisrael Beytenu to file petition against joint Arab party list on grounds of Balad MKs supporting known terror organizations.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin, | updated: 18:36

Balad MKs
Balad MKs
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party has prepared a petition against the United Arab List (UAL) party between Balad, Hadash, and Ra'am-Ta'al (the original UAL), it announced Saturday, demanding that it be disqualified from the Knesset due to Balad's connection to known terrorist organizations. 

Balad ''supports terrorist organizations and cooperates with the enemies of Israel," the petition states. 

"The union of Arab parties proves to everyone that apparently there is no difference between Hadash's Dov Henin, who is just like [Balad MK] Hanin Zoabi," the petition continues, noting that by including Balad on the list, "all support terror organizations and cooperate with Israel's enemies" and is thus "not worthy of serving in the Israeli Knesset." 

Yisrael Beytenu will file the petition through its representative in the Central Election Committee, MK Alex Miller. The party calls on other parties to co-sign and "avoid an absurd situation in which Knesset members are working against the state, its symbols and the values of Knesset itself." 

On Friday, Liberman verbally skewered the Arab parties for forming a joint list during the upcoming elections. 

"With the Arab parties it does not matter if you are an Islamist, Communist or jihadist - their common goal is the same: to bring the end to Israel as a Jewish state," Liberman fired. Earlier Friday, the joint list declared their goal to rid Israel of "the extreme right." 

MK Ahmed Tibi, who was placed in the #4 spot on the new joint list, mocked Liberman and said that the credit for getting all the Arab parties together should go to the Foreign Minister.

"Liberman and the extreme rightists raised the threshold to push the Arabs out of the Knesset. Today we are closer to the top and closer to the threshold, and we hope that [Liberman] will not have a representative in the Knesset. Our list has no theft suspects like Liberman's party does - this list is clean and pure,” said Tibi.

Tibi said he hoped the United Arab List will help bring down the Likud government.

''Our potential is between 13 and 15 seats. I hope we us this opportunity to block the way for [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu to regain power," he said. 

This is not the first time Liberman has attempted to block Balad from running for, or participating in, the Israeli Knesset. 

In October, Liberman took to Facebook to protest recent actions by Balad MKs, who openly supported Hamas - including making a visit to Qatar in the summer not coordinated with the Knesset - and even wrote essays encouraging them on Hamas's website to fight Israel during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza over the summer. In the post, he vowed to ban the party from the Knesset. 

And in 2012, Yisrael Beytenu filed a similar petition to the CEC on similar grounds, in yet another attempt to ban the party from the 2013 elections. 








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