Israeli court bars nationalist activists from upcoming polls

JERUSALEM - Israel’s Supreme Court has barred two activists from a hard-line, nationalist party from running in upcoming elections.

The court barred Benzi Gopstein, leader of an extremist anti-assimilation group, and Baruch Marzel, a prominent political activist. The court said both men incite racism against Arabs.

The activists are part of the Jewish Power list, a faction comprised of hard-line religious nationalists who have cast themselves as successors to the banned Kahanist movement, which dreamed of turning Israel into a Jewish theocracy and advocated forced removal of Palestinians.

In its decision Sunday, the court stopped short of banning the entire list.

Israel is holding an unprecedented repeat election next month after parliament was dissolved following April polls, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to cobble together a government.
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