Balad party leader Sami Abu Shehadeh

Reality in the flesh is prevented from participating in the Israeli elections

Coverage of the disqualification of Balad, the news broadcasts

The Palestine Project
3 min readSep 30, 2022


By Rogel Alpher • (Translated by Sol Salbe)

The Central Election Committee’s decision to disqualify the Balad party from running in the elections is this time based on its refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. In the words of the petition, Balad’s support for making Israel a state for all its citizens “denies its existence… as a Jewish democratic state.” This disqualification has a symbolic meaning, as well as an existential one. This much must be understood: the mundane daily life of Jewish society in Israel today, the ability to get up in the morning and manage a routine, is founded on a massive, hermetic, desperate suppression of a terrible truth for it: the fact that Israel’s existence as a Jewish democratic state has already been repudiated. It is a Jewish state only within the matrix within which its citizens are imprisoned.

This matrix consists of mass media, national institutions such as the IDF and an education system that continue to maintain the fiction that Israel is a Jewish state. It has long ceased to be so. It has no recognised international borders at all. The area under its military control (including the naval blockade of Gaza) between the Jordan and the sea does not have a Jewish majority, and with the exception of the Palestinian citizen of Israel within the Green Line — there is no democracy either, but Apartheid. This is the reality.

Therefore, the problem is not the Balad’s refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state (it cannot recognise what does not exist), but rather the ruling Jewish society’s refusal to recognise the reality: Israel is a bi-national state. By the way, this is true even when referring only to what’s inside the Green Line, where the Palestinians are 21.1 per cent of the population. If one out of every five Israeli citizens is Palestinian, how can Israel be defined as a Jewish state? This requires ignoring a fifth of the population in order to define its identity. Such mathematics, the mathematics of occupation, is only valid within the matrix, in the virtual reality software that is the Israeli public space in 2022. Outside the Matrix, Israel within the Green Line is a bi-national state by virtue of the presence of 1,957,000 Palestinians in it. Whereas Israel between the Jordan and the sea is simply a region that is entirely under Israeli military control, in which the Jews make up only about half of the population.

That’s the truth. If Jewish-Israeli society were to recognise it, that society would go into shock and have a heart attack. It would find herself living inside its own horror movie. That is why the Knesset outlawed reality and stated in Section 7A of the Basic Law of the Knesset that a party denying the Jewish character of the state must be disqualified. What the Election Committee really rejected was reality.