JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Arab parties were disqualified from next month’s elections in Israel.
Israel’s Central Elections Committee disqualified the Balad and United Arab List-Ta’al parties based on three petitions claiming that the parties do not recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland and call for armed conflict against Israel. The committee is made up of representatives of all parties.
The vote to prevent Balad from fielding a slate in February was 26-3, with one abstention, while 21 members voted to disqualify United Arab List-Ta’al, with eight voting against and two members abstaining.
The Supreme Court has overturned decisions against the Balad party in previous elections, according to Ynet.
"This is a racist country," Knesset member Ahmad Tibi of the United Arab List party told the media after the vote. "We are accustomed to these types of struggles and we will win. This decision strives for a Knesset without Arabs that will only lead to the increased solidarity between the Arab public and its leadership."