The United Arab List and the Balad, who between them have seven out of 120 MPs in Knesset, have both been banned from taking part in Israel's forthcoming election on the basis that they "did not recognise Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state", which flies in the face of both organisations' long standing advocacy of the two state solution.
The head of the UAL, Ahmed Tibi (pictured), told the BBC that "This racist government want us out of the Knesset during the war on Gaza... They are accusing us of supporting the terror while they are killing children in Gaza." Tibi added that he thought the right wing Parliamentary Parties "are willing to see the Knesset without Arabs and want to see the country without Arabs."
In fact both Arab parties are not being banned because they oppose Israel's existence, which they don't, but because they oppose Israel's bloody offensive in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.
Haaretz thought the idea of banning the parties "reflects a dangerous level of shortsightedness and narrow-mindedness... Israel has a clear interest in not pushing these representatives out, forcing them to create an independent political system."
This is completely true. Just as the Gaza offensive will create far more terrorists than it suppresses, banning Israeli Arabs any democratic avenues will only encourage them to take undemocratic ones. Somehow it starts to make you wonder whether Israel's stated aims and their real aims are, actually, not quite the same.