Photo Credit: Jewish Press
Rabbi Meir Kahane

The US State Department notified Congress on Friday that it is preparing to remove five groups from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list, among them Kach – founded in 1971 by the late Rabbi and MK Meir Kahane – and Kahane Chai, a related organization.

All five of the groups slated for removal are believed to be defunct, including Rabbi Kahane’s political party (Kach) which was designated as a terrorist organization not only by the US, but also by Israel, Canada and Japan.

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Kahane Chai was founded by Rabbi Kahane’s son, Rabbi Binyamin Kahane, in 1990 following the assassination of his father in Brooklyn, New York.

Both groups were banned from Israel’s 1992 election and banned entirely from the country in 1994 amid accusations of incitement to racism against Israeli Arabs.

It’s not clear why Israeli Arab political parties who routinely incite to racism against Jewish Israelis have not been similarly banned.

In addition to the two groups affiliated with Rabbi Kahane, the US plans to remove the Egyptian Gama’a al-Islamiyya Sunni Muslim movement, the Basque Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) separatist movement and the Japan-based Aum Shinrikyo cult responsible for chemical and other terror attacks in the 1990s.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.