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Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought – Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought –

Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Author: Libby Kahane


Publisher: Institute for Publication


of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane


 


 


   Anyone reading this well-researched and objective biography (just translated into Hebrew) has to be struck by how the focus of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s life was on promoting Jewish identity, pride, values, knowledge, and even music, and how minimal a role that actual violence played even in the “militant” Jewish Defense League. Even the limited violence was for deterrence and limited primarily to property damages.

 

   Kahane’s ever creative and constructive life was devoted not merely to defending defenseless Jews more effectively than any police department and harassing indefensible Soviet officials more provocatively than all the well-organized rallies of the establishment with their eloquent speeches, resulting, together, in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews.

 

   But above all, Rabbi Kahane attempted to prevent millions of Jews from assimilating into the melting pots of America, Russia, and even Israel. In addition, his political and economic approaches to the Israeli-Arab problems have been vindicated over the passage of time.

 

   Ironically, it was Kahane who proposed investments in economic incentives for Arabs to opt to leave Israel peacefully, while Israeli governments forced their most patriotic Jewish citizens to leave some of the holiest and most historic places in the West Bank and the most developed property in Gaza by brute force.

 

   Most people have no idea of the popular, brilliant, disarming, devastating, and witty lectures that Rabbi Kahane delivered on college campuses and synagogues of all denominations throughout America, and of the effects on their listeners. It was a thrill to read of every packed auditorium, and every word of feedback. What a difference he could have made on today’s leftist, religiously ignorant, and even hostile young Jews, and in a Knesset where his ultra-Zionist party was undemocratically banned.

 

   How ironic that so many people condemned Kahane for the outrageous methods he used that brought results, after the “proper” methods of most establishment Jews failed to bring comparable results, however legislatively and politically correct they may have been.

 

   The accounts of what happened at two Brussels conferences describe one of the most perfidiously indefensible and outrageous ironies imaginable. Participants in conferences there supporting the freeing of Soviet Jewry banned the person who did more for this cause than any other, and caused him to be incarcerated, twice, because he risked his own personal liberty and provoked both superpowers in order to help free hundreds of thousands of Jews he had never met.

 

   Kahane’s positive messages of Jewish identity and the importance ofaliyahwere so effective that for a time his lectures on aliyah were actually sponsored by the Israel Aliyah Center of The Jewish Agency.

 

   Kahane was highly regarded by many top mainstream Jewish Orthodox leaders: He was assisted by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading posek of his generation; he was hosted and given a rare tribute by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, the leading rabbi of the religious Zionists; he was solicited to join the political party of Menachem Begin; he was hosted in America by such mainstream rabbis as Haskel Lookstein and Shlomo Riskin, and joined, on some occasions, by rabbi-professors ranging from Saul Berman to Moshe Tendler. Above all, Kahane was a long-time columnist for The Jewish Press.

 

   Some readers might see poetic injustice in that Israel bends backward to protect even its enemies from collateral injury, yet it is still compared in the world press to Nazis, just as Kahane was compared even by Israelis to Nazis.

 

   Ben Hecht wrote Perfidy to describe what some leaders in one sector of the Jewish community did that they should not have done. Kahane wrote Never Again to describe what most sectors of the Jewish community did not do and should have done. A Jewish historian perhaps yet to be born will hopefully find a word even stronger than perfidy to describe the injustices rendered by many leaders of the Jewish community against a person who may be legitimately described by future historians as one of modern Judaism’s greatest heroes.

 

   Like The Revolt by Begin, this biography of Kahane, and of course Kahane’s own Never Again, should be in every Jewish household, and should be assigned reading in every Jewish high school and college Jewish history course.


 


   Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq., is a member of the federal and state bars in New York and New Jersey, and the author or editor of a number of books, chapters, book reviews, and articles dealing with Jewish, American law and politics.

A Voice From The Grave

Friday, July 27th, 2001

In 1982, the late Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote in The New York Times, ?There is one sublime reason why we should not give up a centimeter of land: it belongs to us! … the land belongs to us because the G-d of Israel, Creator and Titleholder of all lands, gave it to us.?

Rabbi Kahane went on to explain that there is no such thing as the ?Palestinian people.? He wrote, ?They are Arabs, part of the Arab nation, possessors of 21 lands. Let them live in peace in any or all of them. But there are no 'Palestinians.?

?The Roman emperor Hadrian, who, after the Jewish revolt against the Romans, angrily erased the name of the state, Judea, invented the name ?Palestine? after the Philistines. In every normal case, an existing people gives its name to a land. The Franks named their land France and the Angles, England, and the Germanics, Germany. Only in this ludicrous case does a Roman invent a name, give it to a land, and the arriving Arab trespassers become ?Palestinians.??

Commenting on how many Arabs have been killed in the conflagration between the Arabs and the Jews, Kahane wrote, ?I wonder how many mourned and protested the killing of German civilians during the World War II bombings of Berlin, Hamburg, and Dresden…?

Kahane?s article dealt with guilt. ?Guilt is a powerful weapon,? he wrote, ?Jews have a difficult time coping with it. A people that has been most debased as losers for 2,000 years finds it difficult to cope with victory… It begins to believe its enemies? slanders. It loses its self-respect and longs for the love of a hating world. It is important that those who have retained their self-esteem and sense of Jewish survival speak out against the disease of guilt and moral insecurity.?

Kahane pointed out that the Arabs are not killing Jews because of land. He wrote, ?Arabs are determined to kill Jews. … And what did they (the Arabs) wish in 1947 when they rejected the 'Palestine? state offered them by the United Nations and went to war, killing fully one percent of the population? And what did they wish in the riots of 1936-38 when there was no country called Israel and they murdered 500 Jews? And in 1929, when no 'Zionist occupation troops? were in Hebron, why did the Palestinians rise up to murder 67 Jews in one day? And why the pogroms in Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1920 and 1921??

Kahane?s voice from the grave reminds us that appeasement has never worked for Jews. When will Rabin and Peres understand this?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/a-voice-from-the-grave/2001/07/27/

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