WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
Rabbi Meir Kahane wants to return to the United States, but he does not have a valid U.S. passport, State Department officials said Tuesday.
A department source said she learnd Monday that Knesset member intends to return to the United States as a U.S. citizen.
A second department source said Kahane “was planning to travel to the United States, but we have informed him by phone last week and by writing that he is no longer” a U.S. citizen.
Kahane had planned to come to the United States this week, according to Tuvia Becker, national chairman of Kach International, which is the American affiliate of the Kach party Kahane heads.
“The rabbi is now in the process of petitioning to retain his citizenship, and we’re hopeful of the outcome,” Becker said. “I understand that he’s involved in some kind of litigation to retain it.
“The rabbi has stated that he gave it up on condition, the condition being that he be allowed to run for the Knesset,” Becker continued. “That condition was not met when he was banned from running in the Knesset.”
Larry Dub, a Rhode Island lawyer working with others on behalf of Kahane, would give no details of how Kahane intends to appeal the State Department’s decision. But he said “if that’s the continued position of the government, it’s going to wind up in court.”
State Department spokesman Charles Redman said Tuesday that Kahane effectively lost U.S. citizenship on Sept. 16, the day he renounced his U.S. nationality.
Kahane’s ultra-right-wing Kach party has since been disqualified from participating in the Israeli general election Nov. 1.
“The U.S. passport issued to him in 1984 is invalid. Section 212 of Title 22, United States Code provides, in effect, that U.S. passports may be issued to and used only by citizens and nationals of the United States,” said Redman.
“Beyond that, we have been in touch with his lawyers to clarify the situation for him,” Redman added.