Arab MKs Walk Out of Knesset

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Arab members of Knesset (MKs) walked out of the plenum on Monday as MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) walked to the podium.

"We will treat Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari just as we treated [Rabbi and Kach party leader] Meir Kahane when he served as a Knesset member," MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) said.

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) noted that by not walking out on Ben-Ari, Jewish MKs showed their true colors.

"Back then," Zahalka said, "we walked out because of Kahane, and this time we are walking out because of his follower."

Ben-Ari, for his part, was unfazed by the Arabs' demonstration.

"I am very pleased that the fifth column walked out during my speech," Ben-Ari said. "I hope it's a sign for the future and that soon we will see them walking out of Israel's Knesset," he said.

Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the extreme right-wing Kach party, served in the Knesset from 1984 to 1988. The Brooklyn-born rabbi was assassinated while speaking in New York in 1990, by El-Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian member of a terror cell, which was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

In 1968, Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League (JDL), which sought to change the image of the weak, defenseless Jew to one of "mighty fighter," who stands up against its enemies.

The JDL coined the phrase "never again," repeated by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conscripts upon their induction into the army.

The Kach party, which was eventually outlawed by a Labor-Likud coalition, advocated the annexation of all territory that came under Israeli sovereignty in the Six Day War and the transfer of the Arab population.

Kahane's son, Binyamin Kahane and his wife, Talia, were killed in December 2000 when Palestinians from the Arab village of Ein Yabrud opened fire on their car, which overturned and rolled down a steep ravine. Kahane died at the scene and his wife succumbed to her injuries afterward. Five of the couple's children were also injured in the attack.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Jewish Virtual Library

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