This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Originally published in Tikkun Magazine |

In a somewhat surprising move, particularly given how carefully America treads when it comes to Israel, the U.S. State Department has rejected the visa request of an Israeli parliamentarian.

Michael Ben Ari, a member of the right-wing National Union party and one of Israel's 120 Knesset members, recently submitted a visa request to the U.S. consulate in order to participate in two conferences this week, one of which promotes American Jews' emigration from the United States to Israel.

However, to the surprise of Israeli officials, Ben Ari was just denied entry to the U.S. due to his membership in a Jewish terror organization.

As Haaretz reports:

[Ben Ari] was told that he cannot be granted the visa based on a clause that allows the U.S. State Department to prohibit the entrance of people who were involved in terror activities or were members of a terror organization in a foreign country. Ben Ari believes that the U.S. government is referring to his membership in the Kach movement, a far-right political movement that is considered a terror organization in Israel, Canada, the European Union, and the United States.
The Kach movement, which began in America as a militant organization with the professed purpose of protecting American Jews, has since morphed into a nationalist extremist group in Israel.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland describes the Kach movement in this way:

Rooted in extremist Jewish ideology, Kach sought to restore the Biblical land of Israel by annexing all the disputed territories of Israel and forcibly removing all Arabs. Preaching the motto of "terror against terror," Kach openly espoused violence against Arabs and actively participated in anti-Arab activities in Israel. As part of its extremist ideology, the group also espoused violence against the Israeli government. In the mid 1970s, Kahane sought to transform Kach into an organized political party, running twice unsuccessfully for the Israeli Knesset. In 1984, Kahane was successfully elected to the Knesset. However, in 1988, Israeli law was amended to forbid racist groups from participating elections, effectively barring Kach from the political scene.


Kach has vehemently opposed the peace process, threatening and using violence against both Arabs and Israeli government officials. Following the signing of the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the PLO in 1994, a Kach supporter killed 29 people in a mosque in Hebron. As a result of this attack, Israel formally outlawed Kach and designated it as a terrorist organization. Despite its being outlawed, Kach continues its anti-Arab activities within Israel. While the group has not officially claimed many attacks since being outlawed, Kach praises and supports any violence against Arabs.

Now, one might ask how someone affiliated with a listed terror organization in Israel could serve in the Knesset in the first place.

However, Israel's Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, infuriated by the State Department's visa refusal, had a different question for American officials: how can you recognize an Israeli government official as a terrorist?

Rivlin, in protest, wrote a scathing letter to the U.S. ambassador in Israel, Daniel Shapiro, demanding that the decision be reversed:

"I would like to express my protest against the decision and request that it be reconsidered."

"Mr. Ben Ari is a Knesset member who represents the National Union party, an entirely legitimate party in the Israeli parliament. As a public official in Israel, a close ally of the U.S., he cannot be recognized as a member of a terror group or be prohibited from visiting the U.S.," Rivlin wrote.

Apparently, the Obama administration sees things differently.

And rightly so.

Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

To read more pieces like this, sign up for Tikkun Daily’s free newsletter, sign up for Tikkun Magazine emails or visit us online. You can also like Tikkun on Facebookand follow us on Twitter.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Adalah — A Just Middle East on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

Your Email has been sent.