JERUSALEM (Nov. 4)
Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel (Labor) today urged the Knesset House Committee to speed up the passage of regulations that would forbid introducing racist bills.
Hillel warned that it would be a black day for the legislature and the nation if the Knesset allows a series of “Nuremberg laws written in the holy tongue,” drafted by Kach MK Meir Kahane, to be introduced and thus become “formal Knesset documents.”
As Hillel took his parliamentary action, several hundred Jerusalemites led by Mayor Teddy Kollek and several leading intellectuals demonstrated outside the Knesset against what they called the Knesset’s vacillation over passing anti-racist legislation. A government bill specifically outlawing racism is currently moving through its committee stages.
Hillel went public with his appeal to the Knesset committee following indications that the committee chairman, Micha Reiser of Likud-Herut, had taken exception to some of the statements made by members during the discussion and was prepared to put the issue on a back burner.
Kahane’s series of bills would outlaw Arab-Jewish sexual relations, would legislate separate beaches for Arabs and Jews, would bar Arabs from living in Jerusalem, and would institute other racist discrimination.
DEMONSTRATION TURNS RAUCOUS
The demonstration outside the Knesset turned raucous when Kahane himself sought to wade into the crowd and disrupt a speech by Kollek. Knesset guards had to intervene to prevent him from disrupting the speech.
Kollek said that while there was awareness nationwide of the racist danger, and while educational action had been taken on various levels, the legislature was being tardy and remiss in taking the vital action that was required on the legal plane.
Leading rightwing ideologue, Prof. Yosef Nedava said Kahane’s doctrines were “an alien fire in our sanctuary.” Samir El-Darwish, mayor of the Israeli Arab town of Baka El-Gharbiye, laid the blame for the rise of Kahanism upon Jews who treated Israeli Arabs as “unwanted guests,” and upon Israeli Arabs who “nursed stupid illusions that Israel is transient.”