The Israeli Supreme Court is today hearing a petition against the Expulsion of Members of Knesset Law, filed by Knesset Member Yousef Jabareen, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Under the 2016 legislation, a majority of 90 Knesset members may oust a serving fellow Knesset member on two grounds: incitement to racism and support for armed struggle against Israel.
According to an Adalah press release: “The law was passed as an amendment to the Basic Law: The Knesset and targeted Arab MKs, due to their vocal opposition to the government’s policies.”
The petitioners contend that “the law violates basic democratic and constitutional principles, such as the right to elect and to be elected, separation of powers, and the right to representation and equality for the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel.”
According to Adalah, ACRI, and MK Jabareen, the law is clearly intended to “limit the freedom of expression and political activities of Palestinian Arab members of Knesset”.
Speaking in advance of today’s hearing, MK Jabareen expressed his hope that “the Supreme Court will understand the danger inherent in a draconian law such as this and will not hesitate to overturn it”, adding:
The purpose of the law is to persecute and delegitimise Arab Knesset members – those who serve as the elected representatives of the Arab public.
The expanded panel of nine justices will be headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut.