Founded in 1971

Kach ("This is the Way") was an extreme right-wing anti-Arab party with outright racist characteristics. The party was founded in the early 1970s by Rabbi Meir Kahane and the Jewish Defense League, an organization that he had established in the United States a number of years earlier. Kach's platform called for legislation to transfer the Arab population from Israel before it became a majority and put an end to the Jewish state. The party also championed the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the Land of Israel west of the River Jordan (including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), a transition to a state governed by Jewish law, and a radical change in the educational system that would emphasize Torah study and religious revivalism.

Kach ran in the elections for the Eighth, Ninth and 10th Knessets in 1973, 1977, and 1981, respectively, but did not pass the electoral threshold. Prior to the 1984 elections for the 11th Knesset, the Central Elections Board disqualified the party from running. The Supreme Court overruled the decision, and the party went on to win a seat for the first time. In response to this victory and to the presence of Meir Kahane as one of its members, the Knesset soon passed an amendment to the Basic Law: The Knesset, which stipulates that no party may participate in Knesset elections if one of its objectives is incitement to racism (section 7a of the law). In the 1988 elections for the 12th Knesset, Kach was indeed disqualified from running.

Following Kahane's assassination in New York in 1990, Kach split into two factions, one that continued to carry the name “Kach” and a second called “Kahane Hai” (also "Kahane Chai," meaning “Kahane Lives”). Both factions were disqualified from running in the 1992 elections for the 13th Knesset. In 1994, after the massacre in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron committed by Dr. Baruch Goldstein—who had appeared on the party’s list and represented the party in the Kiryat Arba local council—both Kach and Kahane Hai were declared terrorist organizations and were made illegal. 

Election Year Votes Count Number Of Seats Share Of Votes List Of Candidates Platform
1984 25,907 1 1.2 Candidates Candidates
1981 5,128 - 0.3 Candidates Candidates
1977 4,396 - 0.3 Candidates Candidates
1973 12,811 - 0.8 Candidates Candidates

Note that the lists of candidates in this table are in Hebrew.

Meir Kahane