Michael Ben-Ari
Michael Ben-AriHezki Baruch

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Tuesday evening submitted a legal opinion to the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer, regarding the request to disqualify Otzma Yehudit from running for the Knesset.

In Mandelblit's opinion, which was backed by the State Attorney, the candidacy of Dr. Michael Ben-Ari for the elections to the Knesset should not be approved on grounds of incitement to racism.

The opinion also states that the request to disqualify the candidacy of Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir does not present sufficient evidentiary basis that would allow it to be accepted.

The Attorney General writes that after examining the evidence presented by the Reform Movement and Knesset members Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Stav Shafir (Labor) who petitioned against Ben-Ari and Ben-Gvir, "in relation to Ben-Ari, his candidacy for the 21st Knesset should not be permitted on grounds of incitement to racism."

"As for Ben-Gvir," writes the Attorney General, "despite the fact that the evidence in his case is very disturbing and approaches the area that prevents running in the Knesset elections, in light of the stringent tests set forth in the Supreme Court's ruling to disqualify a candidate for elections, the request in his case should be rejected."

On Monday, the Attorney General announced that he was opposed to the disqualification of the Ra’am-Balad party in the upcoming elections, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidentiary basis for its disqualification.

Mandelblit responded to a petition submitted by the Likud on the grounds that the party should be disqualified because of the denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state and because of its support for the armed struggle of a terrorist organization or an enemy state against Israel.