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Meir Kahane

Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932 - November 5, 1990) was the leader of the Kach political party. He believed that the Palestinians sought only to exterminate the Israeli Jews, and therefore proposed the forcible deportation of Palestinians from Israel. In his view this was the only acceptable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kahane also believed that Israel should become a theocratic Jewish state. He thus wanted the Israeli government to pass certain laws which are part of Orthodox Judaism. This included a ban on marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Opponents have compared this measure 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 1980 Meir Kahane stood unsuccessfully for election to the 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 successful. 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 an amendment to Israel's Basic Law: The Knesset that banned racist candidates from standing for election. The Committee applied it to Kahane, who appealed the decision to the Israeli High Court. This time the Court found in favour of the Committee, declaring Kahane to be unsuitable for election.

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 [1].

Kahane was assassinated in 1990 after giving a speech at a New York City hotel, by El Sayyid Nosair. Nosair was part of a terrorist cell that in 1993 bombed the World Trade Center. Kahane's son and daughter-in-law were murdered in 2000 when Palestinians opened fire on their car near the West Bank settlement of Ofra.

See also: Jewish Defense League, Kahanism.

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