Court’s Kahane Decision Expected Soon, but He May Settle First

The Supreme Court decided Sunday to consider an appeal by Kach Party leader Rabbi Meir Kahane against the removal of most of his parliamentary privileges by Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel last week for refusing to take the required oath of allegiance to the State.

Kahane has sworn to uphold only the laws of the Torah. Attorney General Yosef Harish had urged the high court to reject his appeal on grounds that the law permits no deviation from the text of the oath.

But the justices instead questioned Hillel’s authority to deny Kahane entry to the plenary-chamber and his right to vote and participate in Knesset deliberations. They said they would announce a ruling within the next few days unless the matter is settled out of court.

All Knesset members are required to take the oath of allegiance when a new Knesset is convened. Kahane was asked last week to repeat his oath because he had testified before a U.S. court in a citizenship hearing that he had never sworn allegiance to a foreign state.

When the present Knesset took office in 1984, Kahane was sworn in by Yosef Burg of the National Religious Party who administered the oath, despite the fact that he deviated from the standard text.

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