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F.B.I. Raids Office Of Kahane Followers, Who Are Designated Foreign Terrorists

Allan Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
January-February 2001

In January, the F.B.I. raided a community center in Brooklyn run by followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the American-born Israeli politician assassinated in 1990, whose movements are designated as foreign terrorist groups by the State Department.  

The New York Times (Jan. 5, 2001) reports that, "Agents from the F.B.I., joined by New York City police, hauled away several computers and reams of written materials from the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center...For the last year and a half, the center has served as New York headquarters of the Kahane movement, which had been led by the rabbi's son, Binyamin Kahane, until he was killed last weekend in the West Bank."  

Michael Guzofsky, director of the Hatikva Center and a leader of the Kahane movement in the U.S., said the agents were looking for information that might link the Kahane activities in New York to Kach and Kahane Chai, the two political organizations that have been designated as foreign terrorist groups since 1995 by the U.S. Government. The designation makes it a crime for Americans to financially support the two organizations or a half dozen or so other groups identified by the State Department as fronts for Kach and Kahane Chai.  

During his life, Rabbi Kahane declared that, "Jewish violence in defense of Jewish interests is never bad." He urged the expulsion of Israel's Arab citizens and of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and advocated legislation making marriage or sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews illegal. Baruch Goldstein, the New York-born doctor who killed 29 Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Hebron in 1994, was a personal student of Kahane and in 1983 was a candidate on Kach's Knesset list.  

The Hatikva center, reports The Forward (Dec. 22, 2000), is actively engaged in raising funds for the Kahane movement. In a December dinner meeting, "Before dessert, Kahane Memorial Fund chairman Eric Greenberg put on the squeeze for money. Mr. Greenberg, a self-described ba'al teshuva or newly Orthodox Jew who manages a `billion-dollar' hedge fund on Wall Street, asked the audience to give money directly to Kahane"s supporters...and promised to match the first $35,000 in donations,"  

Those attending the dinner paid $100 a person. The New York Times (Dec. 19, 2000) reported: "The money will go to the Rabbi Meir Kahane Memorial Fund, which supports...Kahane's Political and religious activities in Israel and a host of other pro-Kahane causes...Literature distributed at the Hatikva Center...openly solicits donations for causes with names that have been altered to sidestep government restrictions." Among those addressing the December dinner was Baruch Marzel, the leader of Kach, who was visiting from Israel. He declared his policy for the future: "To throw out the Arabs from Israel—not to leave any enemies inside."  

In an editorial entitled "Terrorism and Fundraising," The Washington Post (Dec. 22, 2000) discussed the Website of the Kahane movement: "The site...is devoted to the teachings of the late Meir Kahane, the radical Jewish nationalist who advocated expelling Arabs from Israel...Kahane-linked groups...have been designated by the State Department as foreign terrorist organizations for which domestic fund-raising is prohibited. That puts the movement in the company of such groups as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Its adherents have been responsible for serious acts of violence in Israeli-occupied territories. Yet the Website, run by Kahane followers in Brooklyn, openly invites viewers to make a donation'...Unlike Arabs accused of raising money for foreign terrorist groups, who have been locked up for long periods based on secret evidence and faced deportation proceedings, Mr. Guzofsky (leader of the Kahane movement) seems entirely unafraid of the law...There can't be different standards for Arab and non-Arab terrorist groups. It's hard to imagine that a self-described front group for Hezbollah could set up a fund-raising Website in this country, boast about it in a major newspaper and invite prominent members of its movement to this country. The Justice Department owes an explanation."

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