Smotrich: Repair the injustice, allow us to correct the list

National Union chair addresses Supreme Court hearing on petitions against decision not to allow promotion of Ben-Gvir on United Right list.

Hezki Baruch ,

Ben-Gvir and Smotrich at hearing
Ben-Gvir and Smotrich at hearing
Yonatan Zindel, Flash 90

The Supreme Court on Wednesday concluded hearing petitions against the decision of the chairman of the Central Elections Committee not to approve the promotion of Otzma Yehudit candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir to fifth place on the Union of Right-Wing Parties list.

The Wednesday petitions came after the Israeli Central Elections Committee rejected a request by the Union of Right-Wing Parties to alter its Knesset slate after the Supreme Court disqualified Otzma Yehudit candidate Michael Ben-Ari from running in the election, even after the Central Elections Committee voted 16 to 15 to permit his candidacy.

The Union of Right-Wing Parties, a joint ticket of the Jewish Home, National Union, and Otzma Yehudit factions, gave Otzma three slots, including two realistic slots, the fifth and eighth spots, and a third, largely symbolic spot – 40th.

Of the three seats, only Ben-Ari’s – the fifth slot – was considered ‘safe’, with the Union regularly polling at or above five seats.

The court’s ruling on the petitions will be given in the coming days.

The chairman of the National Union, MK Bezalel Smotrich, said upon leaving the hearing that he hoped justice would be done. "The role of the court is not to determine the world of society's values, not to interfere with the legislation of the Knesset and not to run the affairs of the state. The role of this court is to do justice - this is exactly what is meant by acting ‘in the spirit of the law.’

He added that "When the legal apparatus creates injustice in extreme situations - and there is no more classic an example of injustice than this case, a case in which after Ben-Ari was disqualified and Otzma Yehudit could not fill in their representatives according to the agreement signed between the parties - this is exactly the example for which the court is supposed to provide us with justice in the spirit of the law," he said.

"In this case, the law is silent and there is no reference in the law as to what is done in the event that the Election Committee approves a candidate and the court rules him out. There is a lacuna in the law and the right thing when there is a lacuna is to fill it in accordance with justice and morality. After the great injustice this court committed by disqualifying Ben-Ari, [at the very least it could] do some justice and allow us to correct the list,” Smotrich concluded.