Kach and Kahane Chai

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{group, member, jewish}
{law, state, case}
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{war, force, army}
{son, year, death}

Kach (Hebrew: כ"ך‎, "Thus") was a far-right political party in Israel. Founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1970s, and following his Kahanist ideology, the party entered the Knesset in 1984 after several electoral failures.[1] However, it was barred from participating in the next election in 1988 under the revised Knesset Elections Law banning parties that incited racism. After Kahane's assassination in 1990, the party split, with Kahane Chai (Hebrew: כהנא חי‎, lit. Kahane Lives) breaking away from the main Kach faction. The party was also barred from standing in the 1992 election, and both organisations were banned outright in 1994. Today both groups are considered terrorist organisations by Israel, Canada[2], the European Union and the United States.[3]



Early history

Kahane emigrated to Israel from the United States in September 1969, declaring that he would not become involved in politics.[4] However, he soon became involved in controversy, initiating protests advocating the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian territories. In 1972 Jewish Defense League leaflets were distributed around Hebron calling for the mayor to stand trial for the 1929 Hebron massacre.

In 1971 Kahane founded a new party, Kach, which ran in the 1973 elections under the name "The League List".[5] The name "Kach" ("Thus") was inspired by the Irgun slogan "rak kach" ("only thus").[6] The party won 12,811 votes (0.82%), just 2,857 (0.18%) short of the electoral threshold at the time (1%) for winning a seat. The party was less successful in the 1977 elections, in which it won 4,396 votes, and in 1980 Kahane was sentenced to six months in prison for his involvement in a plan to commit an "act of provocation" on the Temple Mount.[4] The 1981 elections were another failure, with Kach receiving only 5,128 votes.

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