December 25, 2013

Rabbi Kahane - Kahane Tzadak

Rabbi Mayor Kahane was an American-Israeli Rabbi, writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli parliament or Knesset.

Kahane was a major activist for Jewish causes. He organized Jewish self-defense groups in deteriorating neighborhoods. He fought for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate. He was known for political and religious views that included proposing Jewish immigration to Israel due to the threat of a possible second Holocaust in the United States. Rabbi Kahane advocated that Israel's alleged democracy be replaced by a state modeled on Jewish religious law. He wanted Israel to annex the West Bank and Gaza strip. This would not allow Arabs, whom he stated would never accept Israel as a Jewish state, from becoming a numerical majority in Israel. His plan would allow Arabs to voluntarily leave Israel and receive compensation for their property, and otherwise forcibly removing Arabs who refused.

Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League in the USA in New York City in 1968.JDL's self-described purpose was to protect Jews from local manifestations of anti-Semitism. Hate crimes and discrimination against Jews were very relevant at the time of mass exodus of urban Jewish population into suburbs; those Jews unable or unwilling to move often became victims of violent crimes in the racially and ethnically changing neighborhoods. JDL members led protests against anti-Semitic teachers in the public school system, provided escorts for elderly Jews and educated Jewish youth in the art of self-defense.
It was the criticism of the Soviet Union that garnered support for the group, transforming it from a vigilante club to an activist organization with membership numbering over 15,000.The JDL organized mass rallies in New York against the Soviet Union's policy of persecuting Zionist activists and curbing Jewish immigration to Israel. JDL played lead role in the Free Soviet Jewry movement and pushed for the release of Russian refuseniks and their resettlement in Israel. JDL also protested against the oppression of Jewish population in Muslim countries, fought Neo-Nazis in the United States and resisted Christian missionaries' activity to convert Jews.

In 1971, Rabbi Kahane fulfilled his lifelong dream and emigrated to Israel

Kahane also founded the Kach Israeli political party.
In 1984 he became a member of the Knesset. In 1988, the Israeli government banned Kach as racist and undemocratic.
The U.S. State Department listed it as a terrorist organization in 1994.

Kahane was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in November 1990, after concluding a speech warning American Jews to emigrate to Israel before it was too late.

In 1980, Kahane stood unsuccessfully for election to the Knesset. That same year, Kahane was arrested for the 62nd time since his emigration and jailed for six months following a detention order based on allegations of planning retaliatory terror attacks against Palestinians.[18]

The Central Elections Committee had banned him from being a candidate on the grounds that Kach was a racist party, but the Israeli High Court determined that the Committee was not authorized to ban Kahane's candidacy. The High Court suggested that the Knesset should pass a law that would authorize the exclusion of racist parties from future elections, and the Anti-Racist Law of 1988 was later passed.In 1984, Kahane was elected as a Member of the Knesset (MK). Kahane refused to take the standard oath of office and insisted on adding a Biblical verse from Psalms, to indicate that when the national laws and Torah conflict, Torah (Biblical) law should have supremacy over the laws of the Knesset.

Kahane's legislative proposals focused on transferring hostile Arab population out of Israel, revoking the Israeli citizenship for non-Jews and banning Jewish-Gentile marriages and sexual relations, based on the Code of Jewish Law compiled by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah.

As his political career progressed, Kahane became increasingly isolated in the Knesset. His speeches, boycotted by Knesset members, were made to an empty parliament, except for the duty chairman and the transcriptionist. Kahane's legislative proposals and motions of no-confidence against the government were ignored or rejected by fellow Knesset members. Kahane often pejoratively called other Knesset members "Hellenists" in Hebrew (a reference to Jews who assimilated into Greek culture after Judea's occupation by Alexander the Great). In 1987, Rabbi Kahane opened a yeshiva (HaRaayon HaYehudi) with funding from US supporters, for the teaching of "the Authentic Jewish Idea".

Despite the boycott, Kahane's popularity grew. Polls showed that Kach would have likely received three to four seats in the coming November 1988 elections[19][20], with some earlier polls forecasting as many as twelve seats (10% of popular vote), possibly making Kach Israel's third largest party.

In 1985, the Knesset passed an amendment to Israel's Basic Law, barring "racist" candidates from election. The committee banned Kahane a second time, and he appealed to the Israeli High Court. This time the court found in favor of the committee, disqualifying Kach from running in the 1988 elections. Rabbi Kahane was thus the first candidate in Israel to be barred from election for political reasons.

Kahane argued that there was a glory in Jewish destiny, which came through the observance of the Torah. He stated that, "democracy and Judaism are not the same thing."[29]

Kahane also believed that a Jewish democracy with non-Jewish citizens was self-contradictory because the non-Jewish citizens might someday become a numerical majority and vote to make the state non-Jewish: "The question is as follows: if the Arabs settle among us and make enough children to become a majority, will Israel continue to be a Jewish state? Do we have to accept that the Arab majority will decide?"[30] "Western democracy has to be ruled out. For me that's cut and dried: there's no question of setting up democracy in Israel, because democracy means equal rights for all, irrespective of racial or religious origins."

Kahane proposed the forcible deportation of nearly all Arabs from all lands controlled by the Israeli government. He framed this deportation as an "exchange of populations" that would continue the Jewish exodus from Arab lands: "A total of some 750,000 Jews fled Arab lands since 1948. 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 (50) years ago." Kahane proposed a $40,000 compensation plan for Arabs who would leave voluntarily, force "for those who don’t want to leave,"[30] and encouraged retaliatory violence against Arabs who attacked Jews: "I approve of anybody who commits such acts of violence. Really, I don’t think that we can sit back and watch Arabs throwing rocks at buses whenever they feel like it. They must understand that a bomb thrown at a Jewish bus is going to mean a bomb thrown at an Arab bus."[30]

Kahane proposed a Jewish state "according to the description given in the Bible." He said, "the southern boundary goes up to El Arish, which takes in all of northern Sinai, including Yamit. To the east, the frontier runs along the western part of the East Bank of the Jordan river, hence part of what is now Jordan. Eretz Yisrael also includes part of Lebanon and certain parts of Syria, and part of Iraq, all the way to the Tigris River.[30] When critics suggested this would mean perpetual war between Jews and Arabs, Kahane answered, "There will be a perpetual war. With or without Kahane."

Following Kahane's death, no charismatic leader emerged to replace him in the movement, although the idea of transferring populations gained traction in Israel. Two small Kahanist factions later emerged; one under the name of Kach and the other Kahane chai , lead by his younger son, Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane.

In 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre of Palestinian Muslim worshippers in Hebron by Kach supporter Dr. Baruch Goldstein, in which 29 Palestinian Muslim worshippers were killed, the Israeli government declared both parties to be terrorist organizations.[31][32] The U.S. State Department also added Kach and Kahane Chai to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Providing funds or material support to these organizations is a crime in both Israel and the USA.

In late 2000, as bombing attacks on Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada began, Kahane supporters spray-painted graffiti on hundreds of bus shelters and bridges all across Israel. The message on each target was identical, simply reading: "Kahane was Right".

On December 31, 2000, Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and his wife Talya were shot to death as they returned from Jerusalem to their home in the Israeli settlement of Kfar Tapuach, and their children wounded. Palestinian gunmen fired more than 60 machine-gun rounds into their van.

In the 2003 Knesset elections Herut, which split off from the National Union list, ran with Michael Kleiner and former Kach activist Baruch Marzel taking the top two spots on the list. The joint effort narrowly missed the 1.5% barrier. In the following 2006 elections Jewish National Front led by Baruch Marzel, fared better but also failed to pass the minimum threshold. Michael Ben-Ari, elected to the Knesset in the 2009 elections on renewed National Union list, is a self-declared follower of Rabbi Kahane who was involved with Kach for many years.

In todays Knesset there is a disciple of Kahane, MK Michael Ben-Ari

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