Baruch Marzel
Baruch MarzelHezki Baruch

The High Court of Justice is expected to reach a decision on all the petitions filed against the decisions of the Central Elections Committee, including the disqualification of the candidacy of Otzma Yehudit candidate Dr. Michael Ben Ari.

According to Yisrael Hayom, if the court disqualifies Ben Ari, right-wing activist Baruch Marzel would replace him as one of Otzma Yehudit's candidates for the next Knesset and would become a minister if the party passes the electoral threshold and joins the coalition.

According to the report, after the meeting on Thursday at the High Court of Justice on Ben Ari's candidacy, a night meeting was held with the participation of National Union Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich and attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, the second candidate for Otzma Yehudit.

According to information received by Yisrael Hayom, the meeting dealt with the package of compensation that Otzma Yehudit is demanding, if and when Ben-Ari is disqualified from running for the Knesset in the High Court of Justice ruling. Ben-Gvir expressed concerns that in light of the questions of the panel's judges in the hearing and the attitude toward attorney Yitzhak Bam, who represented Ben Ari, there is a reasonable possibility that Ben-Ari will be disqualified. In such a case, it was agreed that a compensation package should be given to motivate Otzma Yehudit voters to go to the polls.

During the meeting, Ben-Gvir proposed that Marzel be made a minister in Ben Ari's stead if the latter was disqualified by the court. According to sources within Otzma Yehudit, Smotrich did not reject the proposal. This means that Otzma Yehudit will demand in all coalition negotiations the appointment of Marzel as its minister in the future government.

According to the report, Otzma Yehudit believed that approval of this plan will lead to great motivation among party voters, and will prove to the petitioners that Ben-Ari's disqualification not only will not pay off, but will only strengthen Otzma Yehudit.

MK Smotrich's associates confirmed the meeting.