The US government had sufficient basis to designate an Israeli extremist group a foreign terrorist organization, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The State Department "reasonably found" in 2003 that the group Kahane Chai made death threats against Israeli police and then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The anti-Arab group Kahane Chai was founded by Binyamin Kahane, the American-born son of slain extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Meir Kahane, who was shot and killed in 1990 after a speech in New York, was an advocate of expelling Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Binyamin and his wife were killed in an ambush-style attack in 2000 in the West Bank.
Kahane Chai apparently assumes "that if the record does not expressly tie Kahane Chai to a threat of assassination," the appeals court said, "then the Secretary may not designate it" as a foreign terrorist organization. The court said "we do not read" federal law that narrowly.
"The record need provide only a sufficient basis for a reasonable person to conclude that Kahane Chai was likely behind such a threat," said the opinion by Appeals Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg. Appeals judges David Sentelle and Stephen Williams joined in the decision. administration.
The decision also applied to Kach and Kahane.org, two entities the appeals court said were alias organizations to Kahane Chai.