In response to the news that Israel’s Knesset will include the ideological successors to Meir Kahane’s racist ideology, Daniel Sokatch, international CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“For decades, people who care about Israel have largely agreed that Kahanism — a kind of Jewish supremacy — is a danger to Israeli democracy. Indeed, Kahane’s party was banned from the Knesset in 1988 and his party was shunned across the board. But today such bigotry, and the violent extremism that attends to it, runs counter to the ideals of democracy and the ideals of Israel: pluralism, tolerance, and civil rights for all.
“Modern day Kahanists are working to divide Israeli society by stoking racial fears. Some of them seek to strip all non-Jewish Israelis of basic rights and even propose forcibly “transferring” them out of the country. Many also encourage discrimination and even violence toward Arabs and LGBTQ Israelis. This is part of why some Kahanist organizations and offshoots are listed as terrorist groups by the US State Department, the EU, and Israel.
“The New Israel Fund stands firmly with those in Israel who oppose racist rhetoric, incitement against minorities, and hate. The role of civil society as a democratic force becomes so much more important when supremacists ascend to power. Elected leaders have a sacred responsibility to protect and honor the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians.”