TEL AVIV (Sep. 24)
A united front against racism combining the political left and right wings was formed here yesterday to stop Rabbi Meir Kahane from spreading racist doctrines.
The group, calling itself Ma’aneh (Response), said its first move will be to urge Police Minister Haim Barlev to prohibit demonstrations by Kahane’s Kach Party. It will also pressure Knesset members to suspend Kahane who holds Kach’s single seat in parliament, on grounds that he disseminates race hatred, threatens his opponents and has publicly insulted President Chaim Herzog.
The formation of Ma’aneh, whose members range from Mapam and Peace Now activists to Likud Party workers, was announced after an appearance by Kahane in Givatayim, a Tel Aviv suburb, Sunday night. He was confronted there by a hostile crowd of some 10,000 local residents.
Their uproar prevented him from being heard and Kahane responded by threatening Givatayim and insulting Herzog who has frequently denounced “Kahanism” as a threat to democracy. Scuffles broke out between Kahane’s supporters and opponents.
Moshe Amirav, of Likud, a member of Ma’aneh, told a press conference yesterday, “There was violence in Givatayim on Sunday and five people were hurt. Next time we will answer violence with violence. In order to avoid this, the police should forbid Kach demonstrations.”
Kahane calls for the expulsion of all of Israel’s Arab citizens as well as the Arab populace in the West Bank and Gaza. Ma’aneh activists said they will appear wherever he holds a rally or speaks to prevent him from getting his racist message across.
The new organization also plans to appeal to the Chief Rabbinate to excommunicate the Brooklyn-born rabbi and to hold anti-racist meetings for school children and adults.