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Attorney General seeks to disqualify candidacies of Bishara and Marzel (ISRAEL INSIDER) By Ellis Shuman 12/18/02) Source: http://web.israelinsider.com/bin/en.jsp?enPage=ArticlePage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enDispWho=Article%5El1754&enZone=Politics&enVersion=0& ISRAEL INSIDER ISRAEL INSIDER Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein has requested the Central Elections Committee (CEC) to disqualify the Balad list (National Democratic Alliance) from taking part in the upcoming general elections because its chairman, MK Azmi Bishara, has expressed support for terror organizations. Rubinstein also asked the committee to disqualify former Kach Party member Baruch Mazel from competing on Herut´s list.

In asking to disqualify Bishara, Rubinstein joined MKs Yisrael Katz (Likud) and Michael Kleiner (Herut), who based their request on an amendment passed by the Knesset a few months ago that states no party or candidate who negates the existence of the State of Israel as a democratic Jewish state, or who incites to racism or supports the armed conflict conducted by an enemy state or terror organization against the State of Israel, can run in the general elections for the Knesset.

Katz said Bishara has openly supported enemy actions against Israel for years, and had made speeches supporting terror organizations and identification with acts of violence. "I am convinced that Azmi Bishara will not be a member of the next Knesset," Katz said.

The Knesset voted to remove Bishara´s immunity so that he could stand trial on charges of supporting terrorist organizations. Bishara made statements in Israel and Syria last year praising the Hizbullah and encouraging Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation

In response to Rubinstein´s adding his name to the motion presented by Katz and Kleiner, Bishara charged the attorney general of "persecuting" him and his party. "The attorney general has no standing in the Central Elections Committee," party sources told Maariv.

Meanwhile, Rubinstein asked CEC chairman Justice Mishael Cheshin to disqualify Marzel, who was given the number two position on the right- wing Herut party list, based on a law which forbids lists or candidates to run for office if they are involved in activities of an inciting or racist nature.

Rubinstein reportedly gave Cheshin evidence collected by the Shin Bet and Israel Police detailing Marzel´s active participation in Kach activities. Marzel has been arrested dozens of times for disturbing the peace and for confrontations with Arabs but has never been convicted on charges of incitement.

Herut Party members reacted furiously to the request to bar Marzel from the Knesset. "It is embarrassing that the attorney general classifies Marzel, a Jew loyal to his country and his people, with Azmi Bishara, who supports terror," they said.

Marzel commented, "Herut´s rise in public opinion polls since I joined the party apparently upset the judgment of the attorney general, who is blatantly interfering in Israeli democratic processes."

The Labor Party today also petitioned the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Marzel.

Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg warned the attorney general to remain objective in his recommendations and to refrain from bowing to populist pressure to seek disqualifications of both right-wing and left-wing candidates. (© 2001-2002 Koret Communications Ltd. 12/18/02)

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