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State announces plans to indict former MK for inciting against Arabs

Michael Ben Ari, from the Otzma Yehudit party, seen outside the elections committee, on February 21, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Michael Ben Ari, from the Otzma Yehudit party, seen outside the elections committee, on February 21, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

State prosecutors say that they intend to indict former MK Michael Ben Ari on charges of incitement, pending a hearing.

According to the State Attorney’s office in Israel’s Central District, Ben Ari is being considered for prosecution “for systematic, repeated publications of racist incitement against Arabs.”

Prosecutors say the comments in question date back to the end of 2017, and include public speeches, media interviews and posts on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Ben Ari served in the Knesset from 2009-2013 as part of the now-defunct National Union party. He then founded the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, but in 2019 he was barred by the High Court from running for the Knesset due to his extremist views.

Last year he was also banned by Facebook from using its platform due to his support for “terror organizations.”

Otzma Yehudit is currently headed by far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir, who is expected to boost the party’s seats considerably in the upcoming election.

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