Kahane memorial to be held in Jerusalem despite local opposition
Memorial event for the right wing extremist to be held under slogan 'Rabbi Kahane was right'; will be attended by MK Michael Ben Ari, possibly others.
The 20th anniversary of Kach leader Rabbi Meir Kahane's assassination will be commemorated on Tuesday in Jerusalem's Ramada Renaissance Hotel. The hotel's international management reneged on a previous promise to cancel the event following a protest by a Jerusalemite.
The memorial event will be held under the slogan "Rabbi Kahane was right" and will be attended by MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) and possibly other Knesset members, an announcement posted on billboards across Jerusalem said. The announcement also said "family, rabbis and public figures" would attend.
Far-right activist Itamar Ben Gvir said the event will be held as planned and some 500 people are expected to be there.
Prof. Mark Clarfield of Ben-Gurion University saw the poster last week and was furious that one of the city's better known hotels was hosting the event.
"I wrote a letter to the hotel manager, asking if he knew the event was for a fascist organization and why his respectable hotel was holding an event for an outlawed group," Clarfield said.
The manager replied it was a family affair and there was no reason to call it off. Even when Clarfield showed him a poster advertising the event the manager remained unconvinced. So Clarfield contacted the hotel owners' representative.
The representative, Harvey Douglen, wrote the event would be canceled because the management had been told it was a family affair, not a political one. But on Monday, Clarfield received another letter, in which Douglen explained he could not cancel the event due to legal constraints.
"I'm not left wing," said Clarfield. "But I know this is a racist party that was thrown out of the Knesset and is now trying to enter our political life from the back door. I simply don't think parties that threaten our democracy should exist."
Hotel manager Yaakov Shaari confirmed the details and said the reason the hotel had tried to cancel the event was that it was not a family event but a large public function.