I wrote this article while living in Israel. I wanted to see how much I’ve changed since then so I edited it for future use. The revised parts are in orange, the color of Gush Katif and the religious Zionist movement.
Rav Meir Kahane may not have been a prophet but he was definitely not a criminal, as sources in the leftist media have continued to portray him. At the outset of his career, the Rabbi was known for his adamant support of Soviet Jewry, his unequivocal calls for Jewish self-determination and Jewish pride.
The Rabbi was known for his books and lectures against assimilation, his position on Halacha with regards to Israeli politics and on the grave implications of what has come to be known as “Disengagement”, his calls for a transfer of the Israeli Arabs, as well as his reminders that the Holocaust was not just a “thing of the past”; that Jews worldwide would be at the whim of their Gentile neighbors if they didn’t return to Israel. He called on American Jews especially to heed his call for Aliya.
Rabbi Kahane’s worst trait was his followers, whom he could never hold in check. Many of these have not followed the Rabbi’s teachings, turning to violence as a result of having had the government turn its back on them.
The Rabbi was no rogue. Unlike of Arab parties calling on their constituency to murder Jews, Kahane’s party, “Kach”, which called on Israel’s government to take stronger measures to prevent and repel Arab terror, and ultimately implement the transfer of all “Palestinians” to neighboring Arab countries never incited Jews to murder Arabs or fellow Jews. Unfortunately, Kach was expelled from the Knesset in 1984 by the Shamir/Peres government.
Kahane was assassinated in N.Y. in 1989 by El-Sayid Nosair a well-known Palestinian terrorist. The assassination was organized by the blind Sheik Rachman who would end up serving a life sentence for planning to blow up the twin towers. His plot had been funded by Osama Bin-Laden.
He was successfully defended by none other then prominent N.Y. attorney William Kunstler, a self-loathing Jew. El-Sayid was convicted for the manslaughter of a N.Y. police officer. He was cleared of charges of having murdered the man who had fought so bravely for the freedom of Soviet Jews when others were afraid to insult the Soviets for their atrocities in Afghanistan, a man who single-handedly founded the JDL, a Rabbi who had withstood the onslaught of the self-righteous Israeli media which tried its very utmost to vilify the him for not being the politically-correct, self-apologist it had become.
We immigrated to America the year of Rabbi Kahane’s death. At the time I had no notion of my true identity. My father had been a refusnik who had broken the law by studying Hebrew. My parents were fired from work and needed to look for employment elsewhere as soon as light was shed on news of their wanting to “betray Mother Russia” by fleeing to the West.
How I found out who I really was, how I attended a Jewish day-school, how I joined, then quit Kach, how I made Aliya is irrelevant. What’s important is that Rabbi Kahane’s ideas played a key role in my life. For this I will forever be grateful and keep the memory of the Rabbi sacred in my heart no matter what anyone thinks or says about him.
When I was just out of high school and looking for direction in life, I found the Torah lectures and teachings of Meir Kahane’s son, Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane. But I never got an opportunity to meet the young rebel. Binyamin was murdered by an Arab terrorist seven months before I made Aliya.
Arutz-7’s Hana Levi Julian reported yesterday that “Khaled Shawish, a senior commander in the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades terrorist organization, sponsored by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, was cornered in his car by Israeli forces in Ramallah.”
“The top terrorist (had) spent the past few years hiding out in Chairman Abbas’ headquarters in the Muqata compound, where former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat lived out his last years trapped by the IDF…Binyamin-Ze’ev Kahane, the son of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his wife Talia were shot to death and their five daughters seriously wounded in a December 2000 terror attack in which Shawish played a key role.”
I could not help but wince reading this news. The terrorist guilty of having murdered Binyamin will undoubtedly be set free at some point in a prisoner exchange. Millions of people around the world are still convinced that Kahane was a racist militant who wanted nothing less than to kill all the Arabs. Kach remains banned in both Israel and the U.S. and on the American terrorist list. Kach activists these days remain unwanted elements of our society because of unfair media portrayal.
The Kach movement is stagnant. Its funds have run out, and the party is nowhere near the status it had ascended to in the early 80’s. Thousands of Jews around the world support Kach and its principles, but this may not be enough. We need legitimacy. We need the world to accept us and to know that the Rabbi was right.
Perhaps if someone murders Shawish, as Baruch Marzel has suggested, vengeance may be had. A family almost completely wiped out may get at long last get its due. But the name of Meir Kahane remains politically-incorrect, banned, misapplied by the media and the Left. This will not change until fundamental change is brought to Kach circles. The Rabbi’s followers must hearken to the Torah.
We are the fruits of the Rabbi’s labors. We must return to Israel and make sure his ideas are brought to fruition. The Arabs should be brought to their knees as they were following the Six-Day War. We should not have to fear for our lives in our historical homeland. Arabs should not be represented in the Knesset, nor should they be allowed to run for election. They should not have voting rights. In fact, Kahane was absolutely right! Transfer is the only solution if the Jewish people are to ever live “a free nation in our land!”
But if Kach and Kahane Chai are to regain their former legitimacy, the followers of Meir and Binyamin Kahane (H”YD) must finally begin heeding the Rabbis words. The Rabbi preached transferring the Arabs-not murdering them. He preached rejecting and marginalizing left wing Jews-not assassinating them.
Some former Kach activists have been misrepresenting the very ideas they preach. We must shy away from instigating conflict with Arab and left wing “peace” activists. The only purpose such conflict serves is to unwittingly strengthen their will to continue fighting us. This fight is carried out on their terms. We mustn’t be misled into thinking that hurting a “pro-peace” activist here and there will serve the religious-Zionist cause.
Not having known Binyamin, I still miss him. I miss his leadership skills and his ability to set a positive example for so many of us living in the Diaspora. I hope to return to Israel and help unify the Jewish people around the Rabbi’s ideas. Like Zhabotinsky and Begin, he preached Jewish self-determination and self-defense. We must not lose sight of these ideals because in the end, they will overcome the hatred and loathing of those who seek out destruction, whether they be Arab or Jewish and ultimately, we must control our passions because sometimes, our actions contradict the very foundation of what we’ve been struggling to accomplish since time immemorial.