Court Bars Kach Party From Election
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel’s Supreme Court today barred the anti-Arab Kach movement of American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane from running in the Nov. 1 election, saying it was racist and undemocratic.
But the high court permitted an Arab-Jewish party that calls for an independent Palestinian state to remain in the race.
Police ordered silence among 50 singing supporters of the Kach Party. Judge Menachem Eilon then read out the terse decision, saying ″the appeal is rejected.″
The panel of five judges later released a 27-page judgment on the appeal in which they wrote that ″the aims of Kach and its actions are racist and that it seeks to violently deny the rights ... of segments of the population.″
The high court ruled 3-2 that the Progressive List for Peace could remain in the race. The Arab-Jewish party calls for direct talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization and an independent Palestinian alongside Israel.
The appeal to the court from the right-wing Likud bloc and the Tehiya party came after it had been rejected by the Elections Committee. The rightist parties argued the Progressive List for Peace should be ousted on grounds that it sought the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.
Polls say Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud and the left-leaning Labor Party of Foreign Minister Shimon Peres are in a close race in the Nov. 1 election.
The Brooklyn-born Kahane, 56, told a news conference that the unanimous court decision to bar his party was undemocratic.
″In Judaism, there is no democracy,″ said Kahane, who was thronged by dozens of supporters, some wearing yellow T-shirts with the party emblem, a clenched fist inside a Star of David.
Kahane urged his supporters to boycott the elections.
His ouster was expected to strengthen right-wing parties and might give Likud the election advantage. Likud had said it would not form a coalition with Kahane because of its racist policies.
Kahane has called for the expulsion of the 1.5 million Arabs living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the 700,000 Arabs residing within Israel’s borders.
The Central Elections Committee said the demand was racist, and banned the party Oct. 5 under a new law barring racist parties from running for office.
Kahane appealed that ruling.
Kahane immigrated to Israel in 1971 after founding the Jewish Defense League, a militant organization blamed for attacks on Arabs and other opponents of Israel in the United States.
Also today, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian teen-ager and a 5- year-old boy and wounded an American photographer in clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The army confirmed the deaths and the wounding of American Neal Cassidy, 37, of Oakland, Calif.
Doctors at Nablus’ Al Ittihad Hospital said Cassidy was hit in the right knee by a plastic bullet.
The deaths brings to 301 the number of Arabs killed since the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the occupied lands began Dec. 8. Six Israelis also have died.