Kach

("Thus")
   A political movement on the extreme right of Israel's political spectrum founded and led by Rabbi Meir Kahane until his death. It is essentially a secular nationalist movement that focuses on the Arab challenges to Israel and its Jewish character. In the 1984 Knesset election, after failure in previous attempts, Kach succeeded in gaining nearly 26,000 votes and a seat in the Knesset. Kahane had campaigned on a theme of "making Israel Jewish again" by seeking the expulsion of the Arabs from Israel, as well as from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Initially, the party was banned from participation in the election by the Central Elections Committee on the grounds that its program was antidemocratic and racist, but the ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court—a move that gained the party additional publicity and probably facilitated its efforts to secure a Knesset seat.
   Despite Kahane's success in the 1984 election, he was considered an extremist, even by many on the right, and his political ideology and programs remain marginal in Israel and are considered by the majority of Israelis in that vein. He was ruled out as a political ally and coalition partner by all the major factions in the Knesset, including Tehiya. Kach was banned from participation in the 1988 Knesset election by the Central Elections Committee on the grounds that it was racist; similar grounds were cited for banning it from participating in the 1992 and 1996 elections. After the murder of Rabbi Ka-hane, Rabbi Avraham Toledano was chosen as his successor in March 1991.
   Disputes over tactics and personal rivalries within Kach led to the formation of a breakaway faction calling itself Kahane Chai (Ka-hane Lives) and headed by Benjamin Kahane, son of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Both Kach and Kahane Chai were outlawed and officially disarmed after the February 1994 massacre of Arab worshipers in Hebron by Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a Kach activist. Nevertheless, followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane remain active and are considered to be among the most militant opponents of the Oslo Accords and of territorial compromise in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

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