FILE - Israeli politician Michael Ben Ari, center, holds an Israeli flag while attending a demonstration against the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, outside the Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 29, 2
FILE - Israeli politician Michael Ben Ari, center, holds an Israeli flag while attending a demonstration against the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, outside the Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 29, 2

Israel's Supreme Court Sunday disqualified an extreme right-wing politician from next month's parliamentary election for inciting violence and racism against Arabs.

The Israeli election committee had given permission for Michael Ben-Ari of the Jewish Power party to run. But the court Sunday backed a legal challenge by the opposition leftist Meretz party, which argued that Ben-Ari called for violence against Arabs, denying them civil rights, and incited racism.

"The place for people who believe in the superiority of race is behind bars, not in parliament," a Meretz spokesman said.

FILE - Benny Gantz, a former Israeli armed forces chief and head of the Israel Resilience party, arrives to deliver his first political speech at the party campaign launch in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 29, 2019.
Netanyahu Rival: Israel Should Not Control Palestinians
The leading challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a published interview Wednesday that Israel should "find a way" to end its control over the Palestinians.Former military chief Benny Gantz made the comments in an interview with the Ynet news site. It was his first interview with the Israeli media since his maiden political speech last week.Gantz, a former general, has shot up in opinion polls since last week's speech.

Ben-Ari condemned the court decision, saying "a judicial junta is trying to impose its laws ... it's not democracy.

The court ruled, however, that another Jewish Power candidate can run. It also overturned an election commission decision to bar candidates from two Arab parties – Hadash-Taal and Raam-Balad.

The commission accused the two parties of calling for violence against the government.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked blasted the court's ruling Sunday, saying it forbids Ben-Ari from running "while declaring terror-backing parties kosher is a crass and misguided interference in the heart of Israeli democracy."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem, Feb. 28, 2019
Battered by Scandal, Netanyahu Still Poised for Re-Election
Just over a month before elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks more vulnerable than ever. Following a dramatic announcement Thursday by Israel's attorney general, Netanyahu almost certainly faces indictment on corruption charges in the coming months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life after police said last month he should be indicted for corruption. Netanyahu has aligned his Likud party with other right-wing parties, including Jewish Power, to form a single slate in next month's parliamentary election.

Many in Israel, left and right, are disturbed by the alliance. A number of Jewish Power members are followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a far-right extremist who called for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Israel, the United States and the European Union declared Kahane a terrorist before he was assassinated in New York in 1990.

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