JERUSALEM (Sep. 3)
Police Minister Haim Barlev is seeking legal ways for the police to prevent rallies of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s extremist Kach Party which incite hatred against Israel’s Arab population and frequently lead to violent confrontations. He has asked Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir if there are any.
Existing laws empower the police to break up officially permitted rallies if the speakers are suspected of incitement. The problem is the legal definition of incitement which is a delicate issue.
A government bill specifically outlawing racism as distinguished from less specific incitement, has passed its first reading in the Knesset. It may make it easier for police to break up Kach rallies when it becomes law. But political and legal observers worry that Kahane and his henchmen will tailor their inflammatory remarks to remain just outside the legal definition of racism.
Concern over “Kahanism” has risen since public opinion polls indicate that Kach could win as many as II Knesset seats if elections were held now. Recent Knesset legislation banning racist parties from running for office may keep Kach out of the next Knesset.