Kahlon slams Supreme Court decision to ban Otzma candidate

'Our democracy is strong enough to allow Michael Ben-Ari to participate,' says Finance Minister, after court bars Ben-Ari from Knesset.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) condemned the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision Sunday evening to overturn the decision of the Israeli Central Elections Committee and bar Otzma Yehudit candidate Michael Ben-Ari from running in next month’s election.

Speaking on Army Radio Galei Tzahal Monday, Kahlon said the Israeli democratic system was “strong enough” to include dissonant voices from anti-establishment candidates, including Ben-Ari.

“Israeli democracy is strong enough to include even his views,” Kahlon said, criticizing the Supreme Court for alleged overreach in interfering in the Knesset and Israeli government.

“They need to know what the boundaries are. I don’t like it when the court interferes with my decisions, like raising the prices on tobacco and milk,” referring to the court’s decision to overturn Kahlon’s plans not to raise the cost of certain price-controlled good.

On Sunday, the Supreme Court overturned three separate decisions by the Central Elections Committee, reverse the committee’s decision to permit Ben-Ari to run for the Knesset, and overturning decisions to bar the anti-Zionist United Arab List-Balad ticket as well as Hadash candidate Ofer Cassif.

The court accepted arguments put forth by the far-left Meretz party and the Reform Movement which claimed that Ben-Ari had made statements on Arabs which constituted incitement to racism, while rejecting claims that the UAL-Balad list’s rejection of Israel as a Jewish state and its support for terrorism rendered it unfit to serve in the Knesset.