The Israeli Supreme Court has banned two members of the far-right party from running for early September 17 parliamentary elections on the grounds that they are “incitement to racism”. In a statement late on Sunday, the court announced that candidates Benzi Gubstein and Baruch Mazel of the party “Outsma Yehudit” or “Jewish Force” could not run in the upcoming elections, based on their statements “inciting racism.” The members of the “Jewish force” are followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Kach movement, which demanded the expulsion of Arabs from Israel, and was classified as a “terrorist” organization in Israel, the United States and the European Union.
The members of the “Jewish force” are followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Kach movement, which demanded the expulsion of Arabs from Israel, and was classified as a “terrorist” organization in Israel, the United States and the European Union.
The ideology adopted by Kahane, who was assassinated in New York in 1990, inspired Baruch Goldstein to commit the massacre of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in which 29 Palestinians were killed in 1994.
The court rejected a petition banning the Jewish Power Party and upheld the nomination of a West Bank settler named Itamar Ben Ghafir, who heads the party’s electoral list.
Ben Ghafir, who hangs a picture of Goldstein in his living room, argues that Goldstein was a doctor who saved Jews who were targeted in Palestinian attacks.
Ben Ghafir has made 53 accusations during his lifetime, saying he is proud to have acquitted 46 of them, and that he decided to study the law on the recommendation of the judges to defend himself.
Ben Ghafir defends settlers accused of violence, including those blamed for an arson attack that killed an 18-month-old boy and his parents in 2015 in the occupied West Bank.
It is unlikely that the party alone will succeed in passing the threshold of 3.25 percent of the vote, the minimum necessary to enter parliament
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement with two other right-wing parties ahead of last April’s elections boosts his chances.
Netanyahu’s deal, which led to the joining of a “Jewish force” in two other Yemeni parties to run on the same electoral list, sparked resentment within Israel and among Jewish communities abroad, especially in the United States, where it was seen as a purely political deal.
Netanyahu defended her by saying he did not want any right-wing votes to be lost at a time when he was trying to form a coalition.