Ahead of Sunday's vote on an 'Arab exclusion' bill by Yisrael Beiteinu Minister of Knesset Oded Forer, IDI's Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs sent a policy statement to the committee against the bill.
Ahead of Sunday's vote on an 'Arab exclusion' bill by Yisrael Beiteinu MK Oded Forer, which would expand the criteria for disqualifying Knesset candidates and shift the burden of proof to the candidate instead of the accuser, IDI's Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs sent a policy statement to the committee against the bill.
Kremnitzer and Fuchs say that, "The proposal to expand the criteria for disqualifying candidates is unreasonable, as it adds statements against the state to the reasons for disqualification, and it transfers the burden of proof to the candidate from the complainer."
In this context, the writers explain, "This would deal a severe blow to the right to elect and be elected – also to the right of citizens to choose such a candidate and the right of the candidate to be chosen."
The writers add that in the current law, when a candidates faces a complaint, the Central Elections Committee checks whether the candidate has violated one of the reasons for disqualification (opposing the existence of the state, incitement to racism or support for the armed struggle against Israel).
"The proposed bill, by contrast sets that there would be no need to do this checking. A specific statement or expression could be presented as proof that one of the reasons for disqualification exists, and this would be enough to disqualify the candidate," explain Kremnitzer and Fuchs.
They add that it is unconstitutional to pass the burden of proof to the candidate in cases where there is no logical connection between the act a candidate did and the conclusion inferred concerning his support of a terrorist organization or an enemy state,
They conclude: "If the bill is accepted, it will have a grave and unreasonable impact, and will cause unjustifiable harm to basic democratic rights and to the representation of the Arab minority."
Read the full policy statement (Hebrew).