Yair Lapid
Yair LapidAmos Ben-Gershom/GPO

After the representatives of the Yisrael Beytenu Party submitted a letter to the Knesset's Central Elections Committee demanding to disqualify the chairman of the Balad Party, Samy Abu Shahadeh, from running in the upcoming elections for the 25th Knesset, Yesh Atid's surprising decision is not to support the request to disqualify Balad.

Yesh Atid's decision is surprising because in the past the party supported the disqualification of Balad, and even supported the disqualification of Ra'am, headed by Mansour Abbas.

The reasoning that senior officials in Yesh Atid provided to Channel 13 News on Sunday is that the court has already discussed the issue of Balad and allowed the party to run, so there is no point in asking for its disqualification again.

Channel 13 News commentator Raviv Drucker said that the political reasoning of Yesh Atid is the fear that Balad will gain momentum among Arab Israeli voters as a result of the Prime Minister and the ruling party wanting their disqualification.

Balad said in response to the attempt to disqualify the chairman of the party, "The attempt to silence the uncompromising political voice of Samy Abu Shahadeh, by taking Balad out of the Joint List and today by the attempt to disqualify him by Liberman - the architect of the government of Lapid and of the ‘transfer project’ - proves that the political establishment in Israel does not want to see Balad and wants to eliminate the Arab national and democratic voice."

"There is no difference between the Netanyahu government and the Lapid-Liberman government," added Balad, "and therefore the Arab public will decide: it's either the national camp and the state of all its citizens led by Samy Abu Shahadeh or the camp of surrender that wants to recommend Gantz and Lapid."