The United States is preparing to remove two Israeli-based organizations from its terrorism watch list, as part of a larger move to remove defunct groups from the list.
On Friday, the United States State Department notified Congress of its plans to drop five groups current designated as terrorist organizations, including the political party founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
The five groups slated for removal from the terror watch list are all believed to be defunct, and include the Japanese-based doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, which was responsible for a series of sarin gas attacks and other terror attacks in the 1990s; the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA); the radical Egyptian Sunni movement Gama’a al-Islamiyya; and two Israel-based movements – the Kach party and an ISIS-aligned Islamic jihadist group.
The ISIS-affiliate, Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, was established a decade ago, but was broken up by the Hamas terror group in 2013.
Kach, created in 1971 by Jewish Defense League founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, was a right-wing political party which was represented in the 11th Knesset, from 1984 to 1988, before being barred from taking part in the 1988 election. After Rabbi Kahane’s assassination in 1990, the party splintered into two factions, Kach and Kahane Chai, the latter being led by his son, Rabbi Binyamin Kahane.
Both parties were banned from the 1992 election, and were outlawed in Israel entirely in 1994. The US added both groups to its terror watch list in 1997.