March 7, 2019 / 3:11 PM / in 2 months

Israeli election monitor blocks Arab party, clears far-rightists

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at the launch of Likud party election campaign in Ramat Gan, Israel March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s election monitor disqualified an Arab party described by Prime Minister Benjamin as supporting terrorism from a national election in April, while approving far-right Jewish candidates who may be key to his hope of winning a fifth term.

The Central Elections Committee voted 17-10 to bar the joint Arab party Raam-Balad from the election in accordance with a motion filed by Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.

Likud alleged that Balad “championed the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state”, and said that Raam, through its alliance with it, should also be disqualified.

The committee also struck down motions by a liberal Jewish movement and centre-left politicians against Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir, adherents of late anti-Arab rabbi Meir Kahane. The motions branded their Jewish Power party as racist.

Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Angus MacSwan

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