Labor, Likud Hope to Oust Kahane As Kach Leader Boasts Huge Gains

Legal experts from both the Labor and Likud parties are pressing for joint action to bar Rabbi Meir Kahane and his right-wing Kach party from running in the November Knesset elections.

The experts are basing their demand on an existing law outlawing parties which preach racism. They say the Kach platform and statements by Kahane and other Kach personalities provide sufficient proof of the racist and anti-democratic nature of the party.

Likud officials, meanwhile, denied a report in Monday’s Hadashot that a secret Likud poll had predicted Kach could win as many as six or seven seats the next Knesset.

Likud poll director Mina Tzemah said no such survey exists.

Kahane himself boasts that according to a weekly survey in Hadashot, his party is currently polling 9.6 percent of the vote, which would make Kach the third largest party with II seats.

Previous polls forecast four seats for Kach.

Geula Cohen, leader of the nationalist Tehiya party, has demanded that if Kach is outlawed, similar action should be taken against the Communist party, whose Jewish and Arab members call for a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem.

But legal experts say it will be far more difficult to make her charges stick against the leftist party than against Kach.

Paradoxically, Cohen led efforts to introduce a recent bill to bar candidates holding dual citizenship from running for office.

Kahane, who surrendered his U.S. citizenship earlier this month as a result of the bill, claims it was aimed specifically at getting his name removed from the ballot.

In a column he wrote for Jewish newspapers abroad, Kahane refers to the effort to bar him from the Knesset as a “jihad,” the Muslim word for “holy war.”

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