Centrist candidate Yair Lapid seeks to disqualify far-right party from Israeli elections


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Yesh Atid party, part of the Blue and White center-left coalition, will ask Israel’s Central Elections Committee to disqualify the far-right Jewish Power party from September’s national elections.

Jewish Power, which includes disciples of the late extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, seeks to annex the West Bank and makes little to no concessions for Arabs living there or in Israel.

Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid, said he would work to make sure Jewish Power, or Otzma Yehudit, could not run in the September election, in response to a call by the Likud party representative on the Central Elections Committee, lawmaker David Bitan, to refrain from making disqualification requests, since such challenges had just been heard ahead of the April elections.

Jewish Power as a whole was not disqualified ahead of the April elections, but former party lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari was prevented by the Supreme Court from running due to his racism and racist incitement. The court overturned the elections committee’s narrow vote to allow Ben-Ari to run in April’s national elections.

While Otzma Yehudit in the last election as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties. This time it is running alone and may not receive enough votes to pass the 3.25 percent election threshold.

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