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Knesset Votes to Suspend Kahane for Remark Against Arab Member

July 13, 1988
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The Knesset voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend Rabbi Meir Kahane for threatening an Arab Knesset member at a session several months ago.

Kahane, leader of the extremist Kach party, will be barred from attending five consecutive plenary sessions. He also was reprimanded for using offensive language.

Kahane, Kach’s only Knesset member, swore at Mohammed Miari of the Progressive List for Peace and waved a hangman’s noose at him in the Knesset chamber.

The Knesset House Committee recommended Kahane’s suspension. Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel said he would ask Attorney General Yosef Harish to consider whether the remarks attributed to Kahane could be construed as a death threat.

Kahane said he did not threaten Miari, but merely “promised” that when he becomes prime minister, he would do away with him.

The Progressive List is a left-wing party whose membership includes Jews and Arabs. Kahane does not believe Arabs should serve in the Knesset and has publicly advocated expelling Arabs from Israel and the administered territories.

Kahane was suspended once before for several sessions, after he refused, on demand, to take the pledge of allegiance to the State of Israel, required of all members. Doing so would have jeopardized his American citizenship, which he still retains.

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