The High Court of Justice Tuesday upheld a decision to oust American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane and his ultra-right-wing Kach Party from Israel's parliamentary election next month.
Despite the decision, the Brooklyn-born founder of the militant Jewish Defense League and his supporters left the packed courtroom smiling and singing psalms in Hebrew. Supporters danced outside the courthouse, raising their leader on their shoulders and singing, "Kahane, king of Israel."In its 27-page ruling, the High Court of Justice upheld the Oct. 5 decision of the Central Elections Committee to remove Kahane and other Kach candidates from the Nov. 1 election. The committee declared that Kach, whose only member in the current parliament is Kahane, is a racist party under Israeli law and must be barred from the campaign.
The High Court said the actions of Kach were racist, calling for the violent negation of people's rights and the methodical degradation of portions of Israeli society. Kahane advocates annexing the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and expelling all Arabs from Israel and the territories to ensure the continuation of the Jewish character of the nation.
"The decision in effect said Judaism is racism," Kahane told a raucous news conference. "Every word that we have said and that we have spoken is based upon Judaism."