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August 11, 2021 12:15 pm

Two of Israel’s Most Prominent Far-Right Politicians Banned by Facebook

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of the Facebook logo. Photo: Reuters / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File.

Two of Israel’s most prominent far-right politicians have been banned from Facebook, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported Wednesday.

Facebook stated that Baruch Marzel and Michael Ben-Ari had been removed from the social media platform because of their continued support for the organizations Kach and Kahane Chai, which have been defined as terrorist organizations by both US and Israeli authorities.

Kach, a political party founded by the radical right-wing rabbi Meir Kahane, was eventually banned by the Israeli government.

Kahane Chai was a splinter group from Kach formed after Kahane’s murder in 1990 that was also banned.

Marzel, one of Kahane’s most prominent disciples in Israel who was extensively involved in Kach’s activities, is now a far-right political activist and high-ranking member of the Otzma Yehudit party. He has been arrested several times for alleged acts of violence.

Ben-Ari is also a follower of Kahane and was a noted member of the Kach party. He served as an MK and as former leader of Otzma Yehudit, and has also been arrested in the past.

On Wednesday chairman of Otzma Yehudit, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called the ban on Marzel and Ben-Ari “outrageous and shameful” and compared it to the “thought police” from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

He said Facebook should restore the two men’s pages “immediately and apologize.”

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