A raucous funeral procession for militant Rabbi Meir Kahane turned violent Wednesday when scores of people broke away from the march to smash shop windows and chase Arabs down nearby streets.
The trouble occurred in a shopping district near the central bus station in Jewish west Jerusalem. Supporters of Kahane, 58, who preached a violent doctrine of Jewish power, moved from shop to shop, asking owners whether they employed Arabs before smashing their windows.A terrified Arab ran down the street, followed by several Kahane loyalists shouting, "Death to terrorists." Police reported some Palestinians were hurt in scattered attacks along the procession's route.
One Arab was beaten to the ground near the cemetery in Givat Shaul, and a passing Israeli and two soldiers tried to help him. When he appeared to revive, members of Kahane's Kach movement tried to block an ambulance from arriving.
Hundreds of police reinforcements were deployed to prevent violence between Arabs and Kahane's followers during the funeral procession of about 18,000 people, but authorities did not interfere during the window-breaking rampage.
Meanwhile, the main procession of men in yellow Kach T-shirts and ultra-Orthodox Jews in black coats moved through downtown Jerusalem. Organizers with megaphones led chants of "Death to the Arabs" and "Death to Arafat," the PLO leader. Vans carrying yellow Kach flags led the marchers.
An Kach activist vowed to avenge the slaying. ". . . The right to speak will be spoken by a knife," he told the crowd of thousands jammed into a Jewish seminary.
Security officials, apparently worried by the Kach threats of violence, deployed police outside the homes of Palestinian leaders. "We will not allow any riots, and provocations will be stopped immediately," said Jerusalem Police Commander Arieh Bibi.
Kahane and his anti-Arab Kach movement have been hostile toward the political establishment which shunned them.
As a result of Kahane's murder in a midtown Manhattan hotel after a speech, ultra-rightists and religious parties are expected to compete for the votes of his followers.