For first time, Adalah calls on Israeli Supreme Court to revoke Elections Committee's authority to disqualify Knesset candidates

Adalah appeals disqualification of Ofer Cassif and Balad-Ra'am from running in election, charges that Elections Committee's authority to approve & reject Knesset candidates is unconstitutional.

First the first time ever, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel called on the Israeli Supreme Court this afternoon, Tuesday, 12 March 2019, to revoke the authority of the Israeli Central Elections Committee to vet Knesset candidates.


Adalah is challenging the constitutionality of the authority of the Central Elections Committee, granted by Article 7A of Israel's Basic Law: The Knesset, to rule on the disqualification of candidates and Knesset lists. In its current constellation, the elections committee violates due process and the principle of equality as guaranteed by the Basic Law.


Adalah likewise on Tuesday filed to the Israeli Supreme Court a response to the Central Elections Committee's decision to disqualify Dr. Ofer Cassif from the upcoming Israeli national elections. Adalah is also slated to file an appeal later in the day against the disqualification of Balad-Ra'am (National Democratic Assembly – United Arab List).


The committee decided late last Thursday night to disqualify both the candidate and the political list from the 9 April elections.


Adalah General Director Attorney Hassan Jabareen added:


"Even if the Supreme Court overturns these unfortunate decisions – which were motivated by racism and aimed at subjugating politics deemed unacceptable by the majority – the damage to Dr. Ofer Cassif and Balad-Ra'am has already been done. The disqualification of Cassif was arbitrary and lacks all supporting evidence, but he now bears the scarlet letter of illegitimacy as a result of being compared to the racist Kahanists. There is no place for an elections committee that, on the one hand, approves the candidacy of a racist who supports the ideas of a recognized terrorist organization, and on the other hand, does not allow a candidate supporting democracy and a state based on equality for all citizens."


The response to Cassif's disqualification and the appeal against the Central Elections Committee decision were submitted by Attorney Hassan Jabareen, Attorney Sawsan Zaher, and Attorney Fady Khoury.


CLICK HERE to read Adalah's response to Cassif's disqualification [Hebrew]


CLICK HERE to read Adalah's appeal of the Balad-United Arab List disqualification [Hebrew]


(Photo by Rami Haider/Adalah)