The Likud Party, in a petition submitted Friday to the Israeli elections board, is attempting to disqualify the United Arab List candidates from the March elections in Israel, saying that the Arab List supports establishing an Islamic state in Israel — a claim which Arab List leaders vehemently deny.
Ahmed Tibi, a candidate with the United Arab List, stated on Friday, "the far-right’s request to disqualify us are expressions of Islamophobia and the will to prevent Arab representation in the Knesset."
Likud representatives submitted their petition Friday to the elections committee. After the committee reviews the request, it will be brought before the High Court of Justice for a final ruling. In the last Knesset elections, the committee voted to disqualify the Arab party Balad, but the High Court ruled against this decision.
Israeli-Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) are non-Jewish citizens of Israel, and comprise one-sixth of the population of the state.
The Kadima Party, meanwhile, published a list of their top 50 candidates which included no Arabs at all. "In my opinion, the acting prime minister missed the mark on this issue," said Salah Suleiman, the head of the Bueina-Nujidat council. "He ignored a million Arab citizens."