Israeli-Arab candidate banned from Knesset in still deeper hot water

A new post has surfaced which may deprive the candidate of even her own party’s support.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Still more anti-Israel comments by the Arab candidate recently banned from running for the Knesset have emerged, reducing her chances of appealing the decision.

Labor candidate Ibtisam Mara’ana was blocked from running on the Labor party list in the March 23 elections by Israel’s Central Election Committee after her past public statements came to light attacking Israel and in support of Israel’s enemies.

The effort to ban her was led by right-wing politicians, notably Itamar Ben Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit party. However, a new post has surfaced which may deprive her of her own party’s support as she is expected to appeal the ban to the Supreme Court. (Arab politicians have been banned before by the Central Elections Committee but those bans are often overturned by the court.)

In the newest post, Mara’ana attacks those her own party ranks as among its greatest leaders, including Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Sadeh and Yigal Alon.

Although Mara’ana is running for Labor, she described them as a “Zionist gang that continues to occupy, settle and purge the Palestinian people of their land to this day. The same gang is in power and continues to operate with full vigor and bullying in the name of the immoral, religious and racist ideology.”

A Labor party group, “November 4,” named after the day of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, sent a letter to Labor Chairwoman Merav Michaeli requesting that she not defend Mara’ana before the Supreme Court.

The letter, obtained by Israel Hayom, says, “The secretariat of the ‘Fourth of November’ circle is calling on you and asking you not to defend the candidacy of Mrs. Ibtisam Mara’ana in the High Court. The group cannot support the candidacy of a woman who has repeatedly violated the values ​​and path of the late Yitzhak Rabin.

“We believe that Mrs. Ibtisam Mara’ana will damage the party’s image, both among party members and the general public, and will even hurt the party’s chances of success ahead of the upcoming elections.”

Mara’ana’s hostility to Israel is something of a mystery as she hasn’t suffered any personal discrimination in Israel. On the contrary, she has been feted, winning awards as a documentary filmmaker, and teaching at the prestigious Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Among the statements that initially led to her ban was one in which she said, “If I would order an apocalyptic script, I would destroy [the Jewish city of] Zichron Yaakov… so they’d go back to the United States or Poland.”