JCall Europe sides with other progressive Jewish groups in the Diaspora, from Jstreet USA to the New Israel Fund, from Americans for Peace Now to Jspace Canada, in calling Jewish communities to affirm : Kahanists have no place in the Israeli Parliament.
Prime Minister Netanyahu helped broker a deal with Otzma Yehudit, an ultra-right wing racist party to merge with Jewish Home, the national-religious party to support the right-wing bloc. Otzma Yehudit is the latest iteration of a party based on teachings of racist demagogue Meir Kahane. Kahane’s party, Kach, was banned from the Knesset in 1988, was outlawed as a terrorist organization in Israel in 1994 and is considered a terrorist organization by the USA, Canada and the European Union.
The Israeli right wing in government has now opened the door for Kahanists to enter into the political mainstream of the country. This act is in continuity with a number of other actions in recent months from the approval of the nation-state law to the ever closer linkages with foreign authoritarian governments which have led to the erosion of democracy and of the standing of Israel in the world and among world jewry.
Jcall is reassured that so many established Jewish organizations have condemned the Prime Minister’ actions, from the Union of Reform Judaism to the Antidefamation League. The American Jewish Committee and even AIPAC – the strongly pro-Israel American group – have condemned Otzma Yehudit as a racist and reprehensible party. A large group of Modern orthodox rabbis and educators have issued a fierce denunciation claiming that Jewish Home has “betrayed the traditions of religious Zionism of morality, justice and accountability before God by joining with despicable people who violate fundamental principles of the Torah.”
European Jews should take a strong stand along similar lines
photo : Itamar Ben-Gvir (left) and Michael Ben Ari at a demonstration in the Israeli arab city of Umm Al Fahm (July 2017)