Basic Law: The Knesset

Political Participation

An amendment from 1985 added Section 7(A) to the Basic Law: The Knesset, which provides that, “A list of candidates shall not participate in the elections for the Knesset if its aims or actions, expressly or by implication, point to one of the following: (1) denial of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people: (2) denial of the democratic nature of the state; and (3) incitement to racism.” Amendments in 2002 changed Section 7(A)(1) to read as, “denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state” and added Section 7(A)(3), “support for armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.” as an additional basis for disqualifying candidates and candidates’ lists. This law is used to seek to disqualify Arab candidates and political party lists from running in Knesset elections.

Amendment No. 39 (Candidate who Visited a Hostile State Illegally) (2008) to Article 7A (a1) of The Basic Law: The Knesset denies the right to stand as a candidate for election to the Knesset to any individual who visited Arab and/or Muslim states defined as “enemy states”—such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran—without prior permission from the Interior Minister. The law was enacted to deter Arab members of Knesset from travelling to so-called “enemy states." Amendement 9 enacted 07.08.1985, Amendement 35 enacted 22.05.2002, Amendement 39 enacted 09.07.2008.

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