Some Good News in the Name of Democracy
By Tali Shapiro at Jan 21, 2009
I'm relieved to report that the Balad/Ra'am-Ta'al scandal is over, with positive results. The two Arab parties have been banned from the up and coming elections, last week. Today the decision was over turned by the Israeli supreme court, in a unanimous vote. I can't tell you how relieved I am. In light of the circumstances, I feared that this time, the The Central Elections Committee will get its way (the Arab parties have been banned for the past two elections, only to have the decision over turned by the supreme court, every time).
Some Quotes from Ha'aretz:
"We have defeated fascism, but this battle is not quite complete, discrimination has become centralized. We will finish this operation in Israel on the day of elections."
(Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi)
"... [The ruling is] unfortunate, since no boundary was established to prevent the disloyalty of some of the Arab MKs toward the state of Israel... [former chief justice] Aharon Barak once said that a democracy does not need to kill itself to prove its vitality. The court threw away this declaration and in fact gave the Arab parties license to kill the state of Israel as a Jewish democratic state... In the next Knesset, we will pass a citizenship law that will prevent the disloyalty of some of Israel's Arabs,"
(Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman)
"we are happy that the Kahanism that has characterized that political establishment, including Kadima and Labor, hasn't reached the justice system, Kadima and Labor will have to do some deep soul searching over their populist, senseless decisions that sought to prevent the representation of Israel's Arab citizens in parliament," (New Meretz, using every possible opportunity to campaign)
"the court didn't yield to extremism and racism. In a democratic society, it is fitting that all minorities will be represented in the government."
(Sports, Culture and Science Minister Raleb Majadale, the only Israeli Arab minister serving in the Knesset)