Ya'alon asks legal experts if he can ban Lehava Jewish extremist organization

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January 4, 2015 20:23

Defense minister: Those who spread hate against the Arab minority are a danger to Israeli society.

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Arson of bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school

State indicts 3 in arson of bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school in Jerusalem. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon took to social media on Monday to say that he is weighing the possibility of outlawing the Lehava organization, which defines itself as an anti-assimilation group.

The group’s name is made up of the Hebrew acronym for “Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land,” and several of its members – including its leader – were arrested last month on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.

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“I have turned to legal sources in the defense establishment and in the Shin Bet with a request to examine the possibility of defining Lehava as an illegal association,” Ya’alon said. “I did this because we cannot as a country allow racist phenomena to endanger in a substantial way the fabric of life here. I did it because we must fight in every way attempts to discriminate among people because of their race, color, sex or sexual preference.

“Those who engage in spreading hatred against the Arab minority and anyone who is different at all, is dangerous to Israeli society, which is made up of multiple shades. Such people do not represent the Jewish values we were raised on, values whose light must lead the state of Israel,” Ya’alon stated.

The defense minister said that to brand Lehava members as “extreme Right” is inaccurate.

“They don’t in my view represent any Right, at least not the Right that I know.

They simply represent a dark and dangerous phenomenon that has no connection to the sane, law abiding, and liberal Right. All of us, Right and Left, from all shades, must unite against such dangerous phenomena and declare an all-out war against them in any way that the law permits us.”

Lehava made national headlines in August when its members attempted to disrupt the wedding of an Arab man to a Jewish woman who had converted to Islam.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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