JERUSALEM (JTA) — The chairman of the far-right Jewish Power party, or Otzma Yehudit, can run in April’s elections, the Israeli Central Elections Commission ruled.
The commission approved the candidacy of Michael Ben-Ari, who is in the realistic fifth spot on the candidates’ list of the Union of Right Wing Parties — a merger of Jewish Power with the more moderate Jewish Home party. The vote not to bar Ben-Ari was 16-15.
His candidacy was approved despite Attorney General Avi Mandleblit’s opinion that Ben-Ari should be disqualified over incitement to racism.
The Jewish Power party subscribes to the racist, anti-Arab views of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
The committee also approved the candidacy of Jewish Power’s Itamar Ben Gvir and the technical union of Jewish Power and Jewish Home under the banner of the Union of Right Wing Parties, which is expected to break up after the April 9 vote.
The issues are expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.