Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Dan Gordon


In June 1984 an administrative body of the Israeli legislature voted to bar two parties from participating in the July 1984 parliament elections. The Committee banned the parties because they were "antistate" and "antidemocratic." In Naiman v. Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Committee and allowed both parties to run. This Article first discusses the background to the Naiman case and then considers in detail the separate opinions of the justices. The Article next summarizes the ways in which the United States and Germany (the only two states with comparable systems and significant experience in this field) have dealt with the question of restrictions on political parties, and compares their law with Israel's. Finally, the author analyzes the arguments for and against limits on parties' participation in elections. Dangers to the still-fragile Jewish democracy must be considered. Nevertheless, the author concludes that it is best for Israel to allow antistate and antidemocratic parties to participate in Knesset elections.