Itamar Ben-Gvir and Michael Ben-Ari
Itamar Ben-Gvir and Michael Ben-AriHezki Baruch

The Supreme Court will discuss on Thursday the appeal of the Reform movement, MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) and the Meretz faction against the decision of the Central Elections Committee not to disqualify the candidacy of Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir for the Knesset elections.

Ben-Gvir said ahead of the hearing, "We hope that the court will do what is right tomorrow and reject outright the request to disqualify me and Dr. Ben-Ari. Any reasonable person understands that this is a ridiculous petition, a petition that presented partial and fragmentary statements, which constitutes an attempt by the Reform to influence the opinion of the judges in an improper manner. The Supreme Court justices must make it clear: The lovers and loyalists of the State of Israel have a place in the Israeli parliament, and supporters of terror who support the murder of settlers do not have a place in neither the Knesset nor in Israel."

Dr. Michael Ben-Ari criticized the Attorney General who recommended that he be disqualified, saying, "The representative of the Attorney General today again argued in the hearing that there is no 'critical mass' regarding Tibi, Odeh, and their friends. Of course, he ignores the dozens of quotes we brought, among them Odeh, Tibi, Sa'adi, Ofer Cassif and the rest of the list openly saying, ‘We support terrorist organizations that operate against the state and negate its Jewish identity,’ while for me, a person who served in the IDF and was wounded during a military operation, Mandelblit recommends disqualification. The terrorists of Hadash-Ta'al should be disqualified, and the faithful of the Jewish state should be allowed to run immediately."

Earlier on Wednesday, the court discussed the appeal of Ben-Ari and Ben-Gvir, which was joined by the Likud, the New Right and the Jewish Home, calling for the disqualification of the Hadash-Ta'al list headed by Ahmed Tibi. In the course of the hearing, Ben-Gvir presented to the judges many statements by Arab MKs that support the activities of terrorist organizations against the State of Israel and the negation of the Jewish character of the state.

For example, with regard to MK Ayman Odeh, he was quoted as saying that he "cannot speak out against harming soldiers." Another statement that was presented was made by Osama Saadi, number 4 on the list, who refused to condemn the murder of the Henkin couple and said, "We are in favor of a popular Palestinian struggle and against harming innocents. We condemned the attack in Tel Aviv because it was terrorism. In Judea and Samaria there are occupying settlers and there it is different."