Ben-Ari and Ben-Gvir in court
Ben-Ari and Ben-Gvir in court Hezki Baruch

The President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rick Jacobs, on Sunday commented on the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Michael Ben-Ari from running in the upcoming elections, describing it as a “huge victory”.

“Reform movement wins huge victory— Israel’s Supreme Court rules against racism and incitement,” tweeted Jacobs, who added that “the court agreed today that racist ideology and incitement do not belong in the Knesset.”

Not surprisingly, politicians on the left welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Ben-Ari.

Labor Party chairman Avi Gabbay said in response to the disqualification of Ben-Ari, "Good riddance. We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court not to allow Michael Ben-Ari to compete and be elected to the Knesset under the auspices of Netanyahu. We fought for this together with MK Stav Shafir and other partners, and tonight the Supreme Court ruled as well that there is no place for racists and inciters in the Israeli Knesset."

Meretz chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg praised the Supreme Court's decision as well, saying, "Bibi brought in and Meretz took out. Anyone who believes in racial superiority should be behind bars and not in the Israeli Knesset, and it is a good thing that the court spoke clearly. The Prime Minister's attempt to bring in the Kahanists is another link in the dark and racist chain that has been created here in recent years, and it is good that Meretz is around to stand up to it.”

The Supreme Court, while disqualifying Ben-Ari, also overturned the Central Elections Committee’s decision to bar the Arab parties Balad and Ra’am from running for the Knesset. The two parties, which are running on a joint ticket, had been barred by the committee for their support for terrorism and opposition to Israel as a Jewish state.

In addition, the court also moved to overturn the Central Election Committee’s order that Ofer Cassif, the sole Jewish candidate on the joint list of the predominantly Arab Hadash party and the Ta’al faction, be banned from the Knesset. Cassif, a Hebrew University lecturer, had been banned over comments he had made comparing the State of Israel to Nazi Germany.

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