Yisrael Beytenu to Appeal 'Surrender to Terror'

Yisrael Beytenu will appeal to Supreme Court against Central Election Committee's ruling to bar party's distribution of Charlie Hebdo issue.

Cynthia Blank ,

Charlie Hebdo Issue
Charlie Hebdo Issue

Yisrael Beytenu announced Thursday plans to appeal the Central Elections Committee's injunction against its party distributing copies of Charlie Hebdo - to the Supreme Court. 

CEC Chairman, Justice Salim Joubran ruled Wednesday that Yisrael Beytenu was prohibited from distributing special copies of the French satirical magazinewrapped in a cover attacking MK Ahmed Tibi (Balad). 

Arab parties have previously argued that the distribution of the issue, which features cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover, would spark outrage in the Arab sector.

The petition itself was submitted to the CEC by Tibi and attorney Osama Baoudi, who is #12 on the joint Arab list, specifically against Yisrael Beytenu and its chairman, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. 

Joubran's ruling was based on the argument that the distribution would constitute election propaganda by way of giving voters a gift, which is explicitly prohibited in Section 8 of Knesset Elections Law. 

"There is no doubt that this is a gift in every respect. And the special cover wrapping the issue, aside from the issue itself, is clearly election propaganda," Joubran ruled. 

Yisrael Beytenu responded by calling the Central Election Committee's decision "a surrender to terror." 

Despite the ban, the party is still carrying out its intentions to distribute the magazine, as it announced on its Twitter account

"We are handing out the papers not as an act of defiance, and not that we have anything against Muslims," former journalist Sharon Gal at a Yisrael Beytenu staff briefing. "We think it is necessary to respect all religions, and we want to honor the Jews. We do it in the name of freedom of expression." 

"This is another way to transfer the magazine to the public and it does not allow Arab leaders in Israel to terrorize the public and violate the freedom of expression, and the nature of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," Liberman added.