Avichai Mandelblit
Avichai MandelblitNoam Moscowitz/POOL

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed the Central Elections Committee on Monday that he opposes the disqualification of the Arab parties from running in the elections to the 21st Knesset.

A petition submitted on behalf of the Likud and on behalf of Dr. Michael Ben Ari and Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, candidates from the Union of the Right-Wing Parties, said that these parties incite against the State of Israel and negate the Jewish and democratic character of the state.

The opinion of the Attorney General states that there is no evidentiary basis for disqualifying the Arab lists, and that statements made by Ahmed Tibi, Ayman Odeh, and Balad members that they support the “resistance to the occupation”, according to which causing harm to a soldier is not terrorism, do not provide the evidentiary basis for disqualifying the parties.

The Otzma Yehudit party criticized the Attorney General’s decision.

"The time has come to change the equation and inform the supporters of terrorism that they are not wanted in the Israeli Knesset. Democracy must defend itself, and the free hand that the Attorney General gives to the Balad members, to Ahmed Tibi and to Ayman Odeh, causes there to be in the Knesset an evil axis that supports terror, incites against the state, and receives a salary at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer on top of it," said the party.