National MK Michael Ben-Ari 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Twenty-four years after Kach was banned from the Knesset, Rabbi Meir Kahane's disciples are running for the 19th Knesset as their own party.
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) announced on Sunday night that he would be running with right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben Gvir to fill "the void left on the right by [Foreign Minister] Avigdor Liberman when he decided to run with the Likud."
The new party does not yet have a name, but Ben Gvir said it will not be Kach or splinter group Kahane Chai. It adapted Yisrael Beytenu's old slogan – "Only Liberman understands Arabic" – to fit their needs: "The only ones who understand Arabic."
The three said they plan to "fight characters like MKs Hanin Zoabi (Balad) and Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al)" and focus on illegal migrants.
Marzel, an American-born activist in Hebron, says he was Kahane's "right-hand man" and became head of Kach's secretariat after the rabbi was assassinated in 1990.
Ben Gvir, a 36-year-old lawyer and activist, was Ben-Ari's parliamentary assistant in the 18th Knesset, and has been acquitted of crimes over 40 times.
"There is no doubt Marzel and Ben Gvir will bring more trustworthiness and strength to the Knesset, and help many to fight our enemies within the Knesset," Ben-Ari said. "Tibi and Zoabi will go weak in the knees."
He added that most MKs speak nicely but do not act, while Marzel and Ben Gvir's records of action speak for them.
Meanwhile, a source in the National Union was unimpressed with Ben Ari's new party. He pointed out that in the last election, he original ran independently as the "Our Land of Israel Party," but joined the National Union on the last possible day.
"He can announce whatever he wants. He'll be back," the source said.
On Friday, Former Labor Young Guard chairman and current party primary candidate Eran Hermoni submitted a request to the Central Election Committee to bar Ben-Ari’s candidacy
for the 19th Knesset.Tamara Zieve contributed to this report.