Israel far-right coalition forming plan to 'push Palestinians out of politics'

Israel far-right coalition forming plan to 'push Palestinians out of politics'
2 min read
25 January, 2023
The potential standards would see most Palestinians serving in the Knesset at present barred, according to an Israeli broadcaster.
Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian politician in Israel's parliament, tweeted that 'the struggle for democracy needs to be a struggle for all' [DeAgostini/Getty-file photo]

Lawmakers belonging to Israel's far-right coalition government are reportedly drawing up a plan to make it easier to force Palestinian citizens of Israel out of politics.

Ofir Katz, a Likud lawmaker who chairs the coalition, is pushing forward the bill which would allow candidates to be banned for isolated remarks considered to be supporting terrorism, Israel's Channel 12 broadcaster reported.

This includes supporting an attacker as opposed to a whole terrorist organisation.

Going to see the family of someone suspected of involvement in an attack would be deemed to cross the line, even though Israeli authorities often make questionable allegations against Palestinians.

The potential standards would see most Palestinians serving in Israel's Knesset at present barred, Channel 12 said.

The proposal would also allow whole parties to be barred – even those belonging to electoral alliances. This has previously stopped Palestinian parties from being excluded.

Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, the head of the Palestinian Hadash-Taal grouping, tweeted that "the struggle for democracy needs to be a struggle for all".

He wrote: "We, the Arabs, cannot block the fascists by ourselves, but without us, the democratic Jews [also] can't."

Under the rules in force now, candidates can't be barred unless strong proof of them having supported terrorism exists.

According to Channel 12, chiefs in Israel's coalition agreed while creating their government on advancing legislation seeking to remove Palestinian-led factions from parliament.

Worried the High Court would not allow attempts to do this, they are awaiting legislative reforms that would limit the court's power to block laws.

Israel's highly controversial far-right government is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and came to power late last year.