Firebrand Arab MP Haneen Zuabi, a regular critic of Israel’s right-wing government, was banned Thursday from standing in next month’s general election. The elections committee gave no reason for the disqualification, reported on its website, but Zuabi’s lawyer Hassan Jabareen said it was because she was deemed “hostile to the Jewish state.” The committee also banned extreme right winger Baruch Marzel, a follower of radical rabbi Meir Kahane, assassinated in 1990. A member of the leftwing Arab-Israeli Balad party, the 45-year-old Zuabi was also banned ahead of the 2013 election in a move overturned by the Supreme Court. The country’s top tribunal must also rule in this case.
Zuabi rejects the concept of Israel as a Jewish state and of it living alongside an independent Palestinian state. Instead, she supports the idea of a single state in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights.
Israel has 1.3 million Arab citizens, or 20 percent of the population. They are the descendants of 160,000 Palestinians who remained on their land when the state of Israel was established in 1948.