A Government Without Kahane

A government that includes the National Union, of which MK-elect Michael Ben-Ari is a member, will be a government of disgrace for Israel.

The National Union Party has until now been considered a legitimate candidate for partnership in a right-wing government that may be formed by Benjamin Netanyahu. But the fourth candidate on the National Union list is MK-elect Michael Ben-Ari. This is a man whose candidacy is fundamentally invalid: It is absolute unconscionable for a representative who clearly describes himself as "the disciple and successor of Rabbi Meir Kahane" to be a member of the next Israeli government, whatever its components.

All the Knesset factions, together with the public, must rise up against the possibility that the representative of a party that was justifiably banned from running in the elections back in 1988 will be a partner in the government. Anyone who didn't want Kahane in the Knesset is liable now if his successor becomes a partner in the government; perhaps even a minister.

Ben-Ari, with his racist, Kahanist and pro-transfer ideology, will stain any government and damage Israel's reputation around the world. The message that will be conveyed by including the National Union is that transfer has received a seal of approval in Israel. Kahane was not right, definitely not, but he has won. There is no other way to look at it.

Ben-Ari, the representative of Baruch Marzel and Rabbi Dov Wolpe, members of the Eretz Israel Shelanu (Our Land of Israel) faction in the National Union, already expressed himself on Arutz Sheva radio shortly before the elections that, "if breaking a law means opposing the expulsion of Jews, I'm a lawbreaker."

Together with his designated assistant, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has had 46 indictments served against him and was in fact acquitted in most of the cases, they are a pair of extreme right provocateurs who do not belong in the government. Anyone who espouses transfer of the Arabs, the construction of the Temple and redemption must not be a member of the government here, not even a junior member.

Netanyahu must now express a clear and unequivocal commitment that the National Union, which includes the Kahanist Ben-Ari, cannot be considered for membership in his government. If Netanyahu does not do so, we will know that he, too, is tainted with the stain of transfer.

This is not an incidental coalition issue, but a moral and ethical issue for Israel's Arab citizens and all the proponents of law and democracy in this country. A government that includes the National Union, of which Ben-Ari is a member, will be a government of disgrace for Israel.