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Attorney general opposes Balad disqualification from Knesset run

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara is recommending that the Central Elections Committee not bar the hardline nationalist Palestinian Balad party from running in upcoming Knesset elections.

Baharav-Miara writes in an opinion submitted to the vetting panel that though “Balad is still close to meeting the bar outside of which parties cannot run, there is no evidence” that Balad has worked to actualize the verboten parts of its platform.

The party may nonetheless be banned by the CEC, which is made up of political party representatives and led by a Supreme Court justice. Benny Gantz has ordered members of his National Unity party to oppose Balad running when the panel votes later today, though factions united behind opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu are opposing its disqualification, as a split Arab vote may hurt the center-left at the polls.

Members of the Balad party speak to the media outside the election committee at the Knesset on September 15, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Members of Balad along with the faction as a whole, which is running solo for the first time in years after splitting with Hadash and Ta’al from the Joint List, have been disqualified before at the urging of Netanyahu’s Likud, but usually are reinstated by the High Court.

Under Article 7A of the Basic Law of the Knesset, the candidacy of a member of the Knesset must be disqualified if their actions or statements have the effect of denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, inciting racism, or supporting an armed struggle of an enemy state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.

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