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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kach Party Demands Freedom Be Legalized



Kach Launches Campaign To Be Re-Legalized

(IsraelNN.com) Kach activists launched a campaign today (Wednesday) to reinstate the political party formerly headed by Rabbi Meir Kahane to full legal status.

Rabbi Kahane was first elected to the Knesset in 1984. His party was later banned from running in the 1988 elections in which he was expected to garner as many as 10 Knesset seats, following the passage of an amendment to Israeli law aimed at disqualifying the Kach party. Rabbi Kahane was assassinated two years later, in 1990, by an Egyptian terrorist while on a speaking tour in New York.

A formal letter has been sent to the Prime Minister’s office calling for the annulment of the decision to ban the Kach group as a terror organization. In their letter to the Prime Minister, the would-be Kach leaders state that it is unjust to declare Kach a terror organization as “it is clear to everyone that Kach members do not act in accordance with terror and none of our leaders have ever been convicted of terrorist activity.”

Authors of the campaign accuse the government of originally banning the party for purely political reasons. “As far as we know,” they write, “Kach was outlawed due to political considerations and now while the people are divided over fateful questions there is a need to allow for maximum freedom of speech." The letter to the Prime Minister goes on to quote "a well-known French philosopher who said that 'if mouths are shut then hands begin to work' and when a movement is outlawed in an undemocratic step it is no wonder that there are people who choose to use their hands and act violently."

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a signatory to the letter to Prime Minister Sharon, also quoted results from a survey published in today’s Ma’ariv newspaper which stated that a full third of Israelis think Kach should be legalized and that Rabbi Kahane was right when he called for the deportation of Arabs from Israel. For Full Coverage on Survey Click Here "There is no better time than now to reinstate our legal status since as seen in the survey a third of the public believes that Kahane was right and that they are with us," Ben-Gvir said.

Ben-Gvir said dozens of events will be held in the coming weeks to celebrate and publicize Kahane’s legacy and message. He added that activists also plan to hang posters across the country calling for the movement's return to politics.

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