Meir Kahane

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Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1990) was the leader of the Kach political party and a member of the Israeli Knesset who proposed the forcible deportation of Arab Israeli citizens from Israel and a ban upon marriage or sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews, measures which opponents have likened to the Nazi Nuremberg Laws.

Kahane was born in New York City in 1932. In the United States he founded in 1968 the Jewish Defense League. In 1969 he emigrated to Israel.

In the late 1960's and early 1970's, while the rest of the world was silent on the issue, Kahane protested fervently against Soviet maltreatment of Jews.

In 1980 Meir Kahane stood unsucessfully for election to Knesset, after which he was sentenced to six months in prison for plotting to attack Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount. Upon his release, Kahane stood again in 1984 for election to the Knesset, and was this time succesful.

The Central Elections Committee banned him from being a candidate on charges of racism, but the Israeli High Court found that the Committee did not have the legal power to do so.

In 1985 the Knesset passed a law banning racist candidates from standing for election, after which the Committee banned Kahane from standing for re-election. Kahane appealed the decision to the Israeli High Court, but this time the Court found in favour of the Committee, declaring Kahane to be a blatant racist.

The Israeli government has declared Kach and several other Kahanist groups to be terrorist organizations. Details of their "terrorist" activities can be found at [1] and [2].

Kahane was murdered in New York City in 1990 by a Palestinian gunman. His son and daughter-in-law were murdered by Palestinians ten years later.


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