Kach is a hard-line Israeli militant group that advocates for the expulsion of Arabs from the biblical lands of Israel. The U.S. State Department listed it as a terrorist organization in 1994. Kach, as well as the splinter group Kahane Chai, condones violence as a viable method for establishing a religiously homogenous state. The group has not staged a large terrorist attack since 1994, although people affiliated with the groups have been arrested for “low-level attacks” since 2000, according to the State Department’s 2006 Country Report. In 2006 a U.S. Federal Court upheld that Kach was rightly listed as a terrorist organization in an appeal.
Kach and Kahane Chai are two marginal, extremist Israeli groups that have used terrorism to pursue their goals of expanding Jewish rule across the West Bank and expelling the Palestinians. Both groups grew out of the anti-Arab teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a U.S.-born extremist who founded and led Kach (its name means “thus” in Hebrew) until he was assassinated in New York in 1990. Israel outlawed Kach and its offshoot Kahane Chai (“Kahane Lives”) in 1994, a month after a Kach supporter shot and killed twenty-nine Muslim worshippers at a West Bank mosque. The leader of Kahane Chai, Meir Kahane’s son, Binyamin, was killed along with his wife by Palestinian militants in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank in December 2000.
Experts say Kahanist leaders in Israel have steered clear of terrorism recently in hopes of getting Israel to lift the ban on the two groups, but Israeli authorities continue to regard Jewish extremists as a potential terrorist threat. The State Department lists Kach and Kahane Chai as foreign terrorist organizations.