JERUSALEM – Israel’s Supreme Court has banned the leader of a Jewish ultranationalist party from running in the country’s April elections.
Reversing the decisions of Israel’s elections committee earlier this month, the court ruled Sunday to bar Jewish Power party leader Michael Ben Ari in an 8-1 vote, citing his anti-Arab ideology, and approve an Arab party and leftist candidate.
The court upheld the candidacy of Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right lawyer and fellow leader of Jewish Power.
Jewish Power’s leaders are successors of the late rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated expelling Arabs from Israel and creating a Jewish theocracy.
In a widely-criticized bid to unite Israel’s nationalist bloc, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a bargain last month that could pave the way for the extremist party to join Israel’s next governing coalition.