Meir Kahane

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File:Rabbi Meir Kahane.jpg
Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Meir David Kahane (1 August 19325 November 1990) [Hebrew: מאיר דוד כהנא, also known by the pseudonyms Michael King, David Sinai, and Hayim Yerushalmi] was an American Orthodox rabbi, author, political activist, and a sometime member of the Israeli Knesset. He was a controversial and polarizing figure, to some a "visionary hero of the Jewish people" and to others a "criminal racist."

Kahane was known in the United States and Israel for his strong political and nationalist views, exemplified in his promotion of a theocratic "Greater Israel". He founded two controversial movements: the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the United States and Kach, an Israeli political party. In 1988, Kach was declared a racist party by the Israeli government and banned from the Knesset, and, in 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, the movement was outlawed completely. Kahane's Knesset career was ended by section 7a of Basic Law: The Knesset (1958): "Prevention of Participation of Candidates List."

Kahane was assassinated by El Sayyid Nosair in Manhattan in 1990 after concluding a speech in a New York hotel. Nosair later stood trial as a co-conspirator of Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman and received a life sentence plus fifteen years imprisonment for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, conspiracy to use explosives against New York landmarks, and a plot to assassinate U.S. politicians. Eventually, Kahane's murder was ruled a part of the "seditious conspiracy," and Nosair was convicted of the murder.


  • Above all, it is not decency or goodness of gentleness that impresses the Middle East, but strength.
  • And I am afraid, for the first time, that we are in the hands of people so blind and so mad and so un-Jewish that we may not be able, G-d forbid, to avert the catastrophe.
  • But the Jew is not a cripple. G-d made him with two legs, and the authentic healthy Jew walks on both of them.
  • Every man judges his own happiness and satisfaction with life in terms of his possession or lack of possession of those things that he considers worthwhile and valuable.
  • Every man sees as his goal in life the target that he deems to be most desirable.
  • For so long as the Jew has even one ally, he will be convinced - in his smallness of mind - that his salvation came from that ally. It is only when he is alone - against all of his own efforts and frantic attempts - that he will, through no choice, be compelled to turn to G-d.
  • Human rights - especially those of non-Moslems or non- Arabs - simply do not have the same absolute value that they do in the West.
  • I am afraid that the Jews of insanity who run this land will destroy us, even as all the impossible Herut fools in the United States continue to write columns attacking the PLO.
  • I know that elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets.
  • I see all this and know that if we are to save the Jewish state and its three-and-a-half million Jews from terrible horrors, we must rise up and demand a fundamental change in the very system of government.
  • If we ever hope to rid the world of the political AIDS of our time, terrorism, the rule must be clear: One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists.
  • It is incumbent upon us to understand our greatness and believe in it so that we do not cheapen and profane ourselves.
  • Jews have been in Egypt since Biblical times, and Alexandria had once been, at least partially, a Jewish city.
  • Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are.
  • Life is essentially a question of values.
  • Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge.
  • Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.
  • No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.
  • One of the great problems with Americans is that - being a decent people - they assume that everyone else is equally decent.
  • Only a G-d who Creates, directs, decrees, shapes and ordains the present and future is worthy of being worshipped, is deserving of being a G-d.
  • Only a people that believes that its G-d called the world and its inhabitants into being and controls and decrees their destiny, has any logical and intellectual reason to worship Him.
  • Out of the ashes of a Holocaust that seared the flesh of the nation and burned out of its midst one in every three, from the trash heap of history, arose the Third Jewish Commonwealth.
  • Surely it is time for Jews, worried over the huge growth of Arabs in Israel, to consider finishing the exchange of populations that began 35 years ago.
  • Thanks to the Exile, we have lost sense of the original, authentic, Divinely ordained and ordered concept of what is a Jew.
  • The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand.
  • The difference is that if we turn from the Gentile first, we will have the Almighty as the immediate staff and our comfort. If not, we will have neither the Gentile nor, for a terrible stage, the Almighty.
  • The end of the great era of man's wandering and stumbling through life in search of meaning and truth is drawing to a close and the drama of Jewish history with its crescendos of persecution and heroism, its drama and pathos, its kaleidoscopic wandering and journeying, is coming to an end.
  • The fact is, that with the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Arab countries, almost all of whom left behind all their property for which compensation was never paid.
  • The G-d of History, the G-d of the Jewish people, called the world into being for one reason only and that was for the sake of the Jewish people and the Torah of Israel.
  • The G-d of Jews is the G-d of History.
  • The Jew does not wish to be isolated. He fears being alone, without allies.
  • The Jew is upset because the nations of the world - the United Nations - lash him, brand him as racist and evil, hate him and openly demonstrate their desire to destroy him.
  • The Jewish nation is indeed, the heart of the world and there is no reason for the existence of empires, kings, rulers, masses or systems aside from their reaction to the Jewish people.
  • The modesty of holiness is contemptuously abandoned and the nation wallows in the nakedness of gentile culture.
  • The observant Jew has his own sense of values. Torah Judaism is his blueprint for this life, his target for existence.
  • The true believer is the Jew whose values are clear and unpretentious, with knowledge of what is finite and infinite, important and meaningless, permanent and transitory.
  • The victory of injustice and wickedness is ostensible proof of G-d's absence from the world, and there is no greater profanation of G-d's name.
  • There is nothing that they can do to smite a Jewish nation that believes in the G-d of History.
  • There is rhyme and reason, direction and purpose to history and the Jew has a clear and direct place within that history, direct and central for he is the tool of the L-rd, G-d of history, the central player in the drama.
  • There is the illusion of the world and the reality of the Torah.
  • This is the real struggle - the war of ideas, of values, of civilization.
  • Today, Jewish defense is an accepted thing.
  • We are proud of our Friday evening meal as with white tablecloth and rich red wine, soft brown challahs and deep polished silver, sparkling candlelight and twinkling eyes, the Torah family sits in warm closeness and raises its voice in song, its lips in praise, its tongue in Torah parables.
  • We have our own values; we build our own special, our JEWISH life - and we are proud, so very proud.

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