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Kahane Vows Loyalty to Israel, Returns to Knesset

July 01, 1987|From Reuters

JERUSALEM — The Knesset, Israel's Parliament, allowed anti-Arab legislator Rabbi Meir Kahane to return to the floor today after he declared loyalty to the laws of Israel.

"In the end, having tried everything else, I finally took the oath," Kahane told a reporter. "I am back in the Knesset and able to drive them crazy again."

The New York-born rabbi, who seeks to expel all Arabs under Israeli rule, was banned by Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel on June 8 for failing to take the oath of loyalty. The pledge of allegiance to a foreign country could cause him to lose his U.S. citizenship.

He could also be denied entry to the United States, where he raises most of his money.

Kahane had taken the oath twice before since his election to the Knesset in 1984 but added that he would also be faithful to "God's law forever." His own defiant oath was rejected by Hillel, whose decision was upheld Monday by Israel's Supreme Court.

Kahane will regain all his parliamentary rights including the resumption of a suspended salary.

Kahane, 54, remains a political pariah in Israel. He is the only legislator barred by law from Arab villages, and state television has blackballed him.

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