The Central Elections Committee decided by a majority of 16 to 15 to reject the petition to disqualify Otzma Yehudit leader Michael Ben-Ari from running for the 21st Knesset.
Ben-Ari spoke this afternoon to the committee and responded to the petitions calling for him to be disqualified from running for Knesset.
"Am I the dangerous man whom the attorney general thinks cannot be in the Israeli Knesset? I, whose eldest son is finishing his service in the Givati Brigrade, whose son is enlisting in another three weeks in the Armored Corps course? Is that the critical mass of evidence?" Ben-Ari wondered.
He added, "I have nine children, two of whom are named Binyamin and Talia. Binyamin was the son of my teacher and mentor Rabbi Kanahe, who was murdered by an al-Qaeda man."
He turned to the committee members and said, "Gentlemen, I'm not a racist, and certainly not any of the other ugly charges. You can turn Ben-Ari into a madman, and you can also relate to what I say clearly and coherently."
"I'm talking only about those who are not loyal to the state. Those who are loyal can stay here. Those who are not loyal to us should go away. I also emphasize today: The Arabs who are loyal to the State of Israel, I have no problem with them," he said.
The committee narrowly approved Ben Ari's candidacy by one vote.