I think you’re missing the point here. An Israeli parliamentary committee deciding to ban ethnic-minority political parties with an overwhelming majority is the story, whatever happens in court.
That’s Israel’s political base right there. Just because the court system can stop them from enacting wrong-headed decisions doesn’t mean that their decisions are meaningless, nor does it take away from the message they’re sending.
They tried to arrest the leader of Balad for espionage too, since he supposedly passed targeting information on Israeli cities to Hezbollah, which makes exactly as much sense as accusing Cynthia McKinney of giving al’Qaeda vital intelligence about airline schedules. It was obviously a ham-fisted effort to shut up a dissident.
When it comes to their Arab minority, Israel really fails on the whole democracy thing. Hint: freedom of speech entails supporting the right to speech you find abhorrent. Otherwise you don’t have freedom of speech, you have freedom of assent.
As has been said, they had previously banned Kach. A violence advocating Jewish political party. It will be interesting to see how the Court reacts. That’s a true test of the balance of power. They have already overruled prior committee decisions.
However, the bans on both parties were overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justice Misha’el Kheshin told the election committee that Bishara’s past expressions of support for Hezbollah in Lebanon had angered him, although he voted to allow him to run in the elections because “Israel’s democracy is strong and can tolerate irregular cases”, and thought that there was insufficient evidence for the ban http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balad_(Israel)
The decision to ban the parties bothers me, but its still better than anything else in the mideast.
FYI, the state constitution of the Soviet Union (written by its ruling Communist Party) that was accepted in the middle of the Stalin’s rule was one of the most liberal and progressive constitution in the world in its time. Nevermind the fact that the regime itself was a horrible tyranny that killed 30 millions of its own people…