Confidently asserting what Kahane would do were he alive today is presumptuous. But his activities in the late 1980s point to him devising some method of attaining power and then using his electric oratorical skills to rally Israelis around it. Though he pushed for a referendum in 1989-1990, he wasn’t ideologically committed to it. He simply used it as a means through which Israelis could express the voice denied to them when Kach was banned from the Knesset. Were he alive today he might rally people around a different idea.
One thing, however, is clear to anyone familiar with Kahane’s works: With Israel’s future increasingly at risk, Kahane would not have sat by silently. As he himself once said, a fire to save the Jewish people burned in his bones. If he were alive today, one way or another – legally or illegally, peacefully or otherwise – Meir Kahane would attempt to become prime minister.
And with masses of Israelis exasperated and disillusioned by 17 years of Oslo and its bloody aftermath, one wonders whether he wouldn’t be successful.
Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter. He holds a Masters degree in Jewish History from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.