In response to the news that members of the Kahanist “Jewish Power” Party will be barred from running in Israel’s upcoming elections Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“We are proud that Israel’s High Court barred two members of the Kahanist party from running in Israel’s next Knesset election. Israeli courts made the decision to bar Kahane in 1988 on the grounds that its ideology is ‘racist and undemocratic,’ and we are glad the court made that same decision again today.
“For decades, people who care about Israel have largely agreed that Kahanists are a danger to Israeli democracy and have no place in its parliament. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s embrace of Kahanists in the last election was both horrifying and revealing: it showed his willingness to say yes to bigotry purely for political gain. That is democracy flipped on its head. Bigotry, and the violent extremism that attends to it, run counter to the ideals of democracy and the ideals of Israel: pluralism, tolerance, and civil rights for all citizens.
“We stand with those in Israel — in civil society and in the political sphere — who oppose racist rhetoric, incitement against minorities, and hate. Kahanism has no place in the Knesset. Elected leaders have a sacred responsibility to protect Israelis from violent extremists– not promote them.”