After a ruling from the Los Angeles city attorney's office, Kach International, an organization established by slain Rabbi Meir Kahane, was allowed to take part in Sunday's Los Angeles Jewish Festival--despite opposition from the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles.
Federation officials had barred Kahane's group for years, arguing that its call for the mass expulsion of Arabs from Israel was morally repugnant. The ban withstood a court challenge because no public funding was involved.
But after the city's Department of Cultural Affairs awarded festival organizers $10,000 to help pay for entertainment, Kach leaders appealed, arguing that the city had become a party to the violation of their right to free expression.
In a letter issued Friday, Assistant General Manager Ann Giagni of the Cultural Affairs Department said that the city, as a co-sponsor, "may not refuse to allow a Jewish organization to participate" based on its political views.
Jean Kaplow, assistant executive director of the Jewish Community Centers Assn., the federation agency that organized the festival, said Kach was assigned a booth among 120 other organizations at the event in Rancho Park.
About 40,000 people attended, she said.
Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and a former member of the Israeli Knesset, was assassinated in New York last November. Kach is the name of his Israeli political party.