Meir David Kahane (Hebrew: מאיר דוד כהנא) (//; August 1, 1932 – November 5, 1990) was an American-Israeli Orthodox rabbi, ultra-nationalist politician, teacher, and writer, whose work became either the direct or indirect foundation of most modern Jewish militant and far right-wing political groups. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi, and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.
|Date of birth||August 1, 1932|
|Place of birth||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Year of aliyah||1971|
|Date of death||November 5, 1990(aged 58)|
|Place of death||Manhattan, United States|
|Faction represented in Knesset|
Kahane spent years reaching out to Jews through published works, weekly articles, speeches, and debates on college campuses and in synagogues throughout the United States, and appearances on various televised programs and radio shows. He gained recognition as an extreme advocate for Jewish causes, such as organizing defense squads and patrols in Jewish neighborhoods and demanding the Soviet Union "release its oppressed Jews". He later became known in the United States and Israel for supporting violence against enemies of the Jewish people, calls for emergency Jewish mass migration to Israel due to a potential "second Holocaust" in the United States, proposing that Israel's democracy be reserved for its Jewish citizens, and, hopefully, eventually adopt Jewish religious law, and endorsing the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Kahane proposed enforcing Jewish law, as codified by Maimonides, under which non-Jews wishing to dwell in Israel would have three options: remain as "resident strangers" with all rights but national ones; leave Israel and receive compensation for their property; or for those who refused either option, be forcibly removed without compensation. While serving in Israel's Knesset in the mid-1980s, Kahane proposed numerous laws, none of which passed, to emphasize Judaism in public schools, to do away with Israel's bureaucracy, to forbid sexual relations between non-Jews and Jews, and to end cultural meetings between Jewish and Arab students.
Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the United States, as well as the Israeli political party Kach ("Thus"). In 1971, he was convicted for conspiracy to manufacture explosives. In 1984, he became a member of the Knesset, when Kach gained one seat in parliamentary elections. In 1988, after polls showed Kach gaining popularity, the Israeli government banned Kach for being "racist" and "anti-democratic" under the terms of an ad hoc law.
Kahane was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in November 1990.
Early life and educationEdit
Martin David Kahane was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1932 to an Orthodox Jewish family. His father, Yechezkel (Charles) Kahane, author of the "Torah Yesharah", studied at Polish and Czech yeshiva religious schools, was involved in the Revisionist Zionism movement, and was a close friend of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
As a teenager, Kahane became an ardent admirer of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Peter Bergson, who were frequent guests in his parents' home, and joined the Betar (Brit Trumpeldor) youth wing of Revisionist Zionism. He was active in protests against Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary who maintained restrictions on immigration of Jews (including Nazi death camp survivors) to Palestine after the end of the Second World War. In 1947, Kahane was arrested for throwing eggs and tomatoes at Bevin, as the latter disembarked at Pier 84 on a visit to New York. A photo of the arrest appeared in the New York Daily News. In 1954, he became the mazkir (director) of Greater New York City’s sixteen Bnei Akiva chapters.
Kahane's formal education included elementary school at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, and high school at both Abraham Lincoln H.S. and at the Brooklyn Talmudical Academy. Kahane received his rabbinical ordination from the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, where he was especially admired by the head, Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz, and began going by his Hebrew name, Meir. He was fully conversant with the Tanakh (Jewish Bible), Talmud, Midrash, and Jewish law. Subsequently, Kahane earned a B.A. in Political Science from Brooklyn College, a Bachelor of Law - LL.B. from New York Law School, and an M.A. in International Relations from New York University.
In 1956, Kahane married Libby Blum, with whom he had four children: Tzipporah, Tova, Baruch, and Binyamin. In 1958, he became the rabbi of the Howard Beach Jewish Center in Queens, New York City. Although the synagogue was originally Conservative, rather than strictly Orthodox, the board of directors agreed to Kahane's conditions, which included resigning from the Conservative movement's United Synagogue of America, installing a partition separating men and women during prayer, instituting traditional prayers, and maintaining a kosher kitchen. At the Jewish Center, Kahane influenced many of the synagogue's youngsters to adopt a more observant lifestyle, which often troubled parents. He trained Arlo Guthrie for his bar mitzvah. When his contract was not renewed, he soon published an article entitled "End of the Miracle of Howard Beach". This was Kahane's first article in the Jewish Press, an American Orthodox Jewish weekly, for which he continued to write until his assassination in 1990. Kahane also used the pen name David Sinai, and the pseudonyms Michael King, David Borac, and Martin Keene.
Infiltrating the John Birch SocietyEdit
In the late 1950s to early 1960s, Kahane's life of secrecy and strong anti-communist views landed him a position as a consultant with the FBI. According to his wife, Libby, his assignment was to infiltrate the anti-communist John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI. Later, Michael T. Kaufman published an article claiming that at this point, Kahane confided in him that he had been in a relationship with Gloria Jean D'Argenio. According to these allegations, Kahane allegedly sent a letter to D'Argenio in which he unilaterally ended their relationship whereby, in response, D'Argenio jumped off the Queensboro Bridge and died of her injuries the next day.
Anti-Communist activism and collaboration with Joseph ChurbaEdit
At some time in the late 1950s, Kahane took on the persona of a Gentile individual, along with the pseudonym Michael King. At this point, Kahane began openly expressing anti-Communist positions. He and Joseph Churba created the July Fourth Movement, which was formed to counteract widespread opposition toward U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Subsequently, they co-authored the text, The Jewish Stake in Vietnam together, which was an attempt to convince American Jews of the "evil of Communism". The book's introduction states that, "all Americans have a stake in this grim war against Communism.... it is vital that Jews realize the threat to their very survival [should Communism succeed]." Churba had a major falling out with Kahane over the use of para-militarism, and they permanently parted ways. Churba went on to pursue his own career, joining the US Air Force, writing many books on the Middle East, and later becoming one of Ronald Reagan's consultants. Kahane chose to fight for Jewish rights, and was willing to use extreme measures. He even attempted to acquire and grow biological weapons to use on a Soviet military installation, but failed. He began using the phrase "Never Again", and conceived the Jewish Star and fist insignia, a symbol resembling that of the Black Panther Party, though Kahane himself opposed the Black Panther party due to anti-Jewish riots they had supported in Massachusetts and leftist leanings, as he saw it.
The Jewish Defense LeagueEdit
The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was founded by Kahane in New York City in 1968. JDL's self-described purpose was to protect Jews from local manifestations of anti-Semitism. The JDL said it was committed to five fundamental principles:
- Love of Jewry: One Jewish people, indivisible and united, from which flows the love for, and the feeling of pain of, all Jews.
- Dignity and Pride: Pride in and knowledge of Jewish tradition, faith, culture, land, history, strength, pain, and peoplehood.
- Iron: The need to both move to help Jews everywhere and to change the Jewish image through sacrifice and all necessary means - even strength, force, and violence.
- Discipline and Unity: The knowledge that he (or she) can and will do whatever must be done, and the unity and strength of willpower to bring this into reality.
- Faith in the Indestructability of the Jewish People: Faith in the greatness and indestructibility of the Jewish people, our religion, and our Land of Israel.
The JDL favored civil rights for blacks, while opposing black anti-Semites and racism of any form. In 1971, the JDL formed an alliance with a black rights group in what Kahane termed "a turning point in Black-Jewish relations". Despite the JDL's anti-racist positions and inclusion of individuals of all colors and faiths, the Anti-Defamation League claimed that Kahane "preached a radical form of Jewish nationalism which reflected racism, violence and political extremism" which were replicated by Irv Rubin, the JDL successor to Kahane.
Terrorism and convictionsEdit
A number of the JDL members and leaders, including Kahane, were convicted in relation to acts of domestic terrorism in the United States. In 1971, Kahane was sentenced to 5 years in prison, suspended, for conspiring to manufacture explosives. In 1975, Kahane was arrested for leading the attack on the Soviet United Nations mission and injuring two officers, but was released after being given summonses for disorderly conduct. Later that same year, Kahane was accused of conspiring to kidnap a Soviet diplomat, bomb the Iraqi embassy in Washington, and ship arms abroad from Israel. He was convicted of violating his probation for the 1971 bomb conviction, and sentenced to one year in prison. However, he served most of it in a hotel, with frequently unsupervised absences, due to a concession over the provision of kosher food. In a 1984 interview with Washington Post correspondent Carla Hall, Kahane admitted that the JDL "bombed the Russian [Soviet] mission in New York, the Russian cultural mission here [Washington] in 1971, the Soviet trade offices".
Immigration to IsraelEdit
In 1971, Kahane emigrated to Israel. When he moved to Israel, Kahane declared that he would focus on Jewish education. He later began gathering lists of Arab residents willing to emigrate for compensation, and, eventually, initiating protests advocating the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories. In 1972, Jewish Defense League leaflets were distributed in Hebron, calling for the mayor to stand trial for the 1929 Hebron massacre. Kahane was arrested dozens of times. In 1971, he founded the Kach party. In 1973, the party ran for the Knesset (Israeli parliament) during the general elections under the name "The League List". The party won 12,811 votes (0.82%), just 2,857 (0.18%) short of the electoral threshold at the time (1%) for winning a Knesset seat. The party was even less successful in the 1977 elections, winning 4,836 votes.
In 1980, Kahane was arrested for the 62nd time since his emigration, and jailed for six months following a detention order based on allegations of planning armed attacks against Palestinians in response to the killings of Jewish settlers. Kahane was held in prison in Ramla, where he wrote the book They Must Go. Kahane was banned from entering the United Kingdom in 1981.
In 1981, Kahane's Kach party again ran for the Knesset during the 1981 elections, but did not win a seat, receiving only 5,128 votes. In 1984, the Central Elections Committee banned him from being a candidate on the grounds that Kach was a racist party, but the Supreme Court of Israel overturned the ban on grounds that the committee was not authorized to ban Kahane's candidacy. The Supreme Court suggested that the Knesset pass a law that would authorize the exclusion of racist parties from future elections, and the Anti-Racist Law of 1988 was later passed.
Election to KnessetEdit
In the 1984 legislative elections, Kahane's Kach party received 25,907 votes, enough to give the party one seat in the Knesset, which was taken by Kahane. Kahane refused to take the standard oath of office, and insisted on adding a Biblical verse from Psalms, to indicate that when national laws and the Torah conflict, Torah (Biblical) law should have supremacy over the laws of the Knesset. Kahane's legislative proposals focused on Jewish education, an open economy, transferring the Arab population out from the Land of Israel, revoking Israeli citizenship from 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, and his popularity in the streets began growing, Kahane became increasingly isolated in the Knesset. His speeches, boycotted by nearly all Knesset members, were often 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" (a reference to Jews who assimilated into Greek culture after Judea's occupation by Alexander the Great). In 1987, Kahane opened a yeshiva ("HaRaayon HaYehudi") with funding from US supporters, to teach "the Authentic Jewish Idea". Despite the boycott, Kahane's popularity grew among the Israeli public, especially among working-class Sephardi Jews. Polls showed that Kach would have likely received anywhere from four to twelve seats in the coming November 1988 elections.
In 1985, the Knesset passed an amendment to Israel's Basic Law, barring "racist" candidates from election. The Central Elections Committee banned Kahane a second time, and he appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. This time, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the committee, disqualifying Kach from running in the 1988 elections. Kahane was thus the first candidate in Israel to be barred from election for racism. The move was criticized as being anti-democratic by Alan M. Dershowitz.
In November 1990, Kahane gave a speech to an audience of mostly Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn, warning American Jews to immigrate to Israel before it was "too late". As a crowd gathered around Kahane in the second-floor lecture hall in midtown Manhattan's Marriott East Side Hotel, Kahane was assassinated by El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born American citizen trained in Pakistan, who was initially charged and acquitted of the murder. Nosair was later convicted of the murder in United States district court incident to the trial for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Prosecutors were able to re-try Nosair for the murder because the federal indictment includes the killing as part of the alleged terrorist conspiracy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and later made a confession to federal agents.
Some researchers, such as Peter Lance, consider Kahane one of the first, if not the very first, American victims of the then-nascent Al Qaeda, as his killer is believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's network. The cell that Kahane's assassin belonged to had been training in the New York metro since the middle of 1989. Kahane was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. Kahane's funeral was one of the largest in Israel's history, where approximately 150,000 participated. He was eulogized by a number of prominent supporters in both the US and Israel, including Rabbi Moshe Tendler and the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu, who spoke of how little the people understood of Kahane's "true value".
Kahane argued that there was a glory in Jewish destiny, which came through the observance of the Torah. He also noted that, "Democracy and Judaism are not the same thing." Kahane also stressed that a Jewish state and Western democracy were incompatible, since Western democracy is religion-blind, and a Jewish state is religion-oriented by its very name. He also warned of the danger of non-Jewish citizens becoming a majority and voting against the Jewish character of the state: "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?" "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 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, forcible expulsion for those who "don't want to leave", 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."
Kahane argued in some of his writings Israel should never start a war for territory, but if a war were launched against Israel, Biblical territory should be annexed. However, in an interview, he defined Israel's "minimal borders" as follows: "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. When critics suggested that following Kahane's plans would mean perpetual war between Jews and Arabs, Kahane responded, "There will be a perpetual war. With or without Kahane."
- Irving M. Bunim, who was the major lay leader of Orthodox Jewry and trusted assistant to Rabbi Aharon Kotler, was a strong supporter and admirer of Kahane's.
- Shlomo Carlebach was known for declaring that the Jewish people owed a great debt to Kahane. Together, Carlebach and Kahane organized one of the first Noahide conferences in the 1980s.
- Bob Dylan made positive comments about Kahane. In a 1971 interview for Time magazine, Dylan said, "He's a really sincere guy. He's really put it all together." According to Kahane, Dylan did attend several meetings of the Jewish Defense League in order to find out "what we're all about" and started to have talks with the rabbi. Subsequently, Dylan downplayed the extent of his contact with Kahane.
- The former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel (1983–93), Mordechai Eliyahu, was Kahane's personal mentor, and one of Kahane's staunchest supporters. Eliyahu wrote an approbation to Kahane's Tanakh commentary, "Perush Hamacabee", where he refers to Kahane as "HaRav HaGaon" ("the rabbinic genius"), a praiseworthy title attributed to the very saintly. Eliyahu wrote that, "Only the Torah way interested Kahane, which he constantly toiled over and which served as his strength", and, "When one considers the depth and clarity of [Kahane's] works, one is astonished at how he had the time to compile such. The answer is that ... all his time and thoughts were invested in Torah while other matters were secondary. Fortunate is the family that publishes his works for others to learn from." At Kahane's funeral, Eliyahu stated that Kahane was a reincarnation of a fearless biblical character.
- Kahane was endorsed in his bid for a Knesset seat by Zvi Yehuda Kook, son of the first Chief Rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the Gush Emunim movement. Kook had been a staunch supporter of the National Religious Party, but broke with them in 1974 when they entered the Rabin government over his opposition. In his letter of support to Kahane, Kook stated: "The presence of Rabbi Meir Kahane and his uncompromising words from the Knesset platform will undoubtedly add strength and value to the obligatory struggle on behalf of the entire Land of Israel." The announcement of Kook's support of Kahane and his letter were made available to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- Yosef Mendelevitch stated that, "Kahane was a representative for us. His activities made us feel good. His actions showed that Jews cared. His actions may have been controversial, but his role was very important. He was a symbol for Russian Jews."
- Moshe Tendler, son-in-law of Moshe Feinstein, praised Kahane, and stated that, "His whole goal was always 'How do you make each Jew stand tall?'"
- Yaakov Yosef, the son of Ovadia Yosef who headed the Hazon Ya'akov Yeshiva and served as rabbi of the Givat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem, described Kahane as one who "fulfilled his role faithfully", and declared that, "We must learn from [Kahane's] great actions in order that we learn the way of the Torah." While serving in the Knesset as part of the Shas party, Yosef was one of the few who remained for Kahane's addresses.
Following Kahane's death, no leader emerged to replace him in the movement, although the idea of transferring populations, mainly attributed to Kahane, was subsequently incorporated into the political platform of various political parties in Israel, such as Moledet (applying to Arab non-citizen residents of the West Bank) and Yisrael Beiteinu (in the form of population exchange). Two small Kahanist factions later emerged; one under the name of Kach, and the other under the name of Kahane chai (Hebrew: כהנא חי, literally "Kahane lives [on]"), the second one led by his younger son, Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane. Neither one was permitted to participate in the Knesset elections by the Central Elections Committee.
In 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre of Palestinian Muslim worshippers in Hebron by Kach supporter Baruch Goldstein, in which 29 Muslim worshipers were killed, the Israeli government declared both parties to be terrorist organizations. The U.S. State Department also added Kach and Kahane Chai to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
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, the Jewish National Front, led by Baruch Marzel, fared better, but also failed to pass the minimum threshold. A follower of Kahane who was involved with Kach for many years, Michael Ben-Ari, was elected to the Knesset in the 2009 elections on renewed National Union list. He stood again in the 2013 elections as the second candidate on the list of Otzma LeYisrael, but the party failed to pass the minimum threshold.
In 2015, Kahane's grandson, Meir Ettinger, was detained by Israeli law enforcement. He was the alleged leader of the radical Jewish group "The Revolt". In an online "manifesto" echoing some of the teachings of his grandfather, Ettinger promotes the "dispossession of gentiles" who live in Israel, and the establishment of a new "kingdom of Israel", a theocracy ruled by Halacha. Ettinger has been writing to condemn Israel's government, mainstream rabbis, and the IDF, as well as denouncing Christian churches as "idolatry".
In 2016, Kahane's widow claimed that modern Jewish extremists in Israel are not following the ideology of her late husband, claiming he had a more mature approach which did not encourage illegal activities.
The prosecution argued that Arab MK Haneen Zoabi should be banned for denying the Jewish People's existence, and was banned by the Central Elections Committee, using the Kahane precedent. A week later, this was unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court. Attempts at banning of Strong Israel and Balad political parties using the Kahane precedent unsuccessfully were overturned as well.
In 2017, The Forward reported that some of Kahane's followers were aligning themselves with white nationalists and the Alt-right. Other followers declared that such moves did not reflect Kahane's teachings, arguing that Kahane worked together with African Americans.
- (Partially under pseudonym Michael King; with Joseph Churba) The Jewish Stake in Vietnam, Crossroads, 1967
- Never Again! A Program for Survival, Pyramid Books, 1972
- Time to Go Home, Nash, 1972.
- Letters from Prison, Jewish Identity Center, 1974
- Our Challenge: The Chosen Land, Chilton, 1974
- The Story of the Jewish Defense League, Chilton, 1975, 2nd edition, Institute for Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, (Brooklyn, NY), 2000
- Why Be Jewish? Intermarriage, Assimilation, and Alienation, Stein & Day, 1977
- Listen, Vanessa, I Am a Zionist, Institute of the Authentic Jewish Idea, 1978
- They Must Go, Grosset & Dunlop, 1981
- Forty Years, Institute of the Jewish Idea, 2nd edition, 1983
- Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews, Lyle Stuart, 1987
- Israel: Revolution or Referendum, Barricade Books (Secaucus, NJ), 1990
- Or ha-ra'yon, English title: The Jewish Idea, n.p. (Jerusalem), 1992, translated from the Hebrew by Raphael Blumberg, Institute for Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 1996
- On Jews and Judaism: Selected Articles 1961–1990, Institute for Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 1993
- Perush ha-Makabi: al Sefer Devarim, Institute for Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 1993, 1995
- Pirush HaMaccabee: al Sefer Shemu'el u-Nevi'im rishonim, Institute for Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 1994
- Listen World, Listen Jew, 3rd edition, Institute for the Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 1995
- Beyond Words, 1st edition, Institute for the Publication of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (Jerusalem), 2010.
- Kohen ve-navi: osef ma'amarim, ha-Makhon le-hotsa'at kitve ha-Rav Kahana (Jerusalem), 2000
- Cuckooland, illustrated by Shulamith bar Itzhak (yet unpublished)..
For supplementary information and insightsEdit
- Goldberg, Lenny, The Wit and Wisdom of Rabbi Meir Kahane.
- Miracle Man, Yeshivat "HaRaayon HaYehudi" (Jerusalem), 2010
- Bar Itzhak, Shulamith, Kahane et le Kahanisme (in French).
- Breslauer, Daniel (1986), Meir Kahane: Ideologue, Hero, Thinker, Lewiston/Queenston: Edwin Mellen Press.
- The Boundaries of Liberty and Tolerance: The Struggle Against Kahanism in Israel, Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1994.
- Friedman, Robert I (1990), The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane, from FBI Informant to Knesset Member, Brooklyn, NY: Lawrence Hill.
- Mergui, Raphael; Simonnot, Phillipe, Israel’s Ayatollahs: Meir Kahane and the Far Right in Israel.
- Ravitzky, Aviezer, The Roots of Kahanism: Consciousness and Political Reality.
- Sprinzak, Ehud, Kach and Meir Kahane: The Emergence of Jewish Quasi-Fascism.
- Kahane, Libby (2008), Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought.
- "Kach, Kahane Chai (Israel, extremists) – Council on Foreign Relations". Cfr.org. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- "Rabbi Meir Kahane", Jewish Virtual Library (biography)
- Kahane, Libby (2008), Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought (abstract)
- Meir Kahane. Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews. p. 265.
The pity is-the tragedy is-that most Jews do not believe that Judaism is Divine and therefore do not accept it as the foundation of the state. And so, because of that-but only because any attempt to establish a true Torah state would lead to bitter civil war among Jews-I would not be prepared to establish a state that would bar elections involving parties that do not accept Torah law as authority.
- Meir Kahane (1987). Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews. Lyle Stuart. p. 270. ISBN 0818404388.
The Jew is forbidden to give up any part of the Land of Israel, which has been liberated. The land belongs to the G-d of Israel, and the Jew, given it by G-d, has no right to give away any part of it. All the areas liberated in 1967 will be annexed and made part of the State of Israel. Jewish settlement in every part of the land, including cities that today are sadly Judenrein, will be unlimited.
- Maimonides. Mishne Torah, Laws of Kings, Ch. 6.
- Meir Kahane. Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews. p. 250.
All Arabs who are prepared to accept the State of Israel as the exclusive state of the Jewish people and of no one else, will be allowed to remain in the land with the status of "resident stranger", as per Jewish laws. They will be granted personal rights, but no national ones. They will have general economic, social, cultural, and religious freedom, but will not be citizens of the Jewish State and will have nothing to say in its future in any way. Accepting this status, they are welcome to remain, and are entitled to all the respect and decency that Judaism demands we grant to all humans who are resident strangers in our land and who bow to its laws and concepts.
- Meir Kahane. They Must Go.
Those who refuse to accept noncitizen status shall be compensated for property, but not given a bonus, and shall be transferred only to Arab - not Western - lands. The transfer shall be effected peacefully, if possible, but if the Arab still refuses, then forcibly and without compensation.
- Brinkley, Joel. "Israel Bans Kahane Party From Election", The New York Times, October 6, 1988.
- Morris Kaplan (July 24, 1971). "Kahane Gets 5-Year Suspended Sentence in Bomb Plot". New York Times. p. 26.
- Beckerman, Gal (2010). "When They Come for Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry". ISBN 9780547504438.
- "Rabbi Meir Kahane". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. August 1, 1932. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- Friedman, Robert I. The false prophet – Rabbi Meir Kahane – from FBI informant to Knesset member, New York, 1990, p.9. ISBN 1-55652-078-6
- Libby Kahane. Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought (Vol. 1). p. 50.
Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz had a great love for Meir... [He once told Meir:] 'Because you sanctified G-d's name... your name and fame shall spread far and wide.'
- Libby Kahane, "Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought" vol. 2, chap 6, note 3 p. 577.
- Nathan-Kazis, Josh. "Carrying a Torch", Ha'Aretz, January 6, 2009.
- Nathan-Kazis, Josh (January 6, 2009). "Carrying a torch". Haaretz. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Miskin, Maayana (November 30, 2010). "Kahane Family Sues as Radio Ads Pulled over Peace Now Pressure". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Kahane, Libby (2008). Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought Vol. One: 1932-1975. Israel: Urim Publications. p. 42. ISBN 978-965-524-008-5.
Meir accepted the rabbinical position at the Howard Beach Jewish Center (HBJC) with certain conditions. He demanded Orthodox practices, even though none of the synagogue members were observant: a kosher kitchen, traditional prayers, and separate seating for men and women with a mechitza (partition) between them. Another condition was that the synagogue resign from the Conservative movement's United Synagogues of America. Remarkably, the board of directors agreed to all these terms, perhaps because the salary Meir accepted was far lower than that of a Reform or Conservative rabbi.
- Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff (2011). From Washington Avenue to Washington Street. Gefen Books. ISBN 978-965-229-5651.
Meir’s primary success in this position was to be his undoing. Many of the youngsters were enchanted by the new rabbi and his mesmerizing personality. Much to their parents’ chagrin, some of these children began to observe the dietary and Sabbath laws.
- "Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought", pp. 48, 49.
- Tugend, Tom (December 2, 2004). "A Jewish Visit to Guthrie's Land". JewishJournal.com. Tribe Media Corp. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- Rakeffet-Rothkoff, Aaron. Review of Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought Archived September 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Jewish Action.
- "Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought", Jewish Action, OU, 2008, archived from the original on September 13, 2009
- Remembering Kahane, and the Woman on the Bridge New York Times; March 6, 1994
- When They Come for Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry at Google Books
- Libby Kahane. Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought (Vol. 1). p. 79.
- The Jewish stake in Vietnam at Google Books
- "Informant: Meir Kahane Planned Biological Terror Attack On USSR". October 6, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "But Meir Kahane's Message Refuses to Die; Source of 'Never Again'". The New York Times. November 19, 1990. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Anti-Defamation League on JDL". Adl.org. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Kahane, Libby (2008). Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought, Volume 1. Urim Publications. p. 106. ISBN 978-965-524-008-5.
The JDL favored civil rights for blacks, and opposed only black anti-Semites.
- Kahane, Libby (2008). Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought, Volume 1. Urim Publications. p. 80. ISBN 965-524-008-8.
- "Black Group, Jdl Pledge Common Action for Soviet Jews, Black-jewish Relations". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. May 19, 1971.
The leader of a black self help group and the national chairman of the Jewish Defense League met today and pledged "brotherhood". The unprecedented meeting between a black organization and the JDL, termed by Rabbi Kahane as a "turning point in Black-Jewish relations", took place in the Harlem headquarters of NEGRO (National Economic Growth and Reconstruction Organization).
- Meir Kahane (1975). The Story of the Jewish Defense League. Chilton Book Company. p. 114. ISBN 0-8019-6247-1.
In May, I and twenty other JDL people held an open rally in the middle of the campus against racism and reverse discrimination, surrounded by hundreds of militant Blacks and their Jewish supporters. Heckling and obscenities punctuated the air. As we stood together in a small knot, the mob suddenly surged forward and I am not ashamed to admit that I was frightened. But as we pushed back, the mob broke up and the rally continued. It was a small victory, perhaps, but the four Christian students who came up after the rally and said 'You guys have guts, that was the first rally of this kind we’ve seen here. Can we join the JDL?' understood perfectly what had happened. They did join, and at one point some 4 percent of our membership was non-Jewish.
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- 60 Minutes – Meir Kahane
- Israelis arrest rabbi on terrorism charges, The Montreal Gazette May 15, 1980
- Israel Court Drops Ban on 2 Political Parties, New York Times, June 29, 1984, p. 3
- After a Career of Preaching Hatred for Arabs, Rabbi Meir Kahane Is Cut Down by An Assassin's Bullet People Magazine
- Jewish Defense League Unleashes Campaign of Violence in America New York Times, October 17, 1988
- Jew vs. Jew: the struggle for the soul of American Jewry, p. 196, at Google Books, Samuel G. Freedman
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- SELWYN RAABPublished: December 23, 1991 (December 23, 1991). "Jury Selection Seen As Crucial to Verdict". New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- CNN Jenkins, Brian. "Sheik, others convicted in New York", October 1, 1995, CNN
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- "Gentlemen, not everyone knows Rabbi Meir! They do not know his true value! His fear of heaven! His learning! His kindness! The help he gave in secret! How many families receive food products from him on the eve of Passover, the eve of Sukkoth, the eve of Rosh HaShana; how many poor people got money from him - and all this, giving in secret! I can tell you that just recently, before Rosh HaShana, Rabbi Meir handed out some 34,000 dollars. There was a family that needed money, so he took money from his private funds and gave them! This is kindness! This is fear of heaven! This is charity! This is giving in secret! His inner qualities, the delicacy of his soul, his inner fear of heaven! This, people do not know, with this they are not familiar. Gentlemen! As if we know how carefully he used to fix times for Torah study! Who was the first to speak of Russian Jewry? Who awakened the Israeli people and the entire world from their slumbers, with regard to Russian Jewry? Who was it who predicted that Russian Jews would yet come out of their exile? It was Rabbi Meir Kahane - may God avenge his blood! I can mention now the number of agunoth I asked him to act on behalf of - thanks to his efforts we succeeded in saving a goodly number of agunoth. He saved many Jewish women from non-Jewish hands! Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Meir! I ask of you to rise up to heaven and to awaken all those who were put to death by the authorities, so that they can act in heaven for the benefit of all of Israel, so that we need not mourn any more, and so that your own sacrifice will be the last one, so that crying and screaming shall no longer be heard in our day, and so that we be found worthy of the final redemption, speedily and in our day. Amen." Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's Eulogy of Rabbi Meir Kahane
- "One absolutely cannot confuse them. The objective of a democratic state is to allow a person to do exactly as he wishes. The objective of Judaism is to serve God and to make people better. These are two totally opposite conceptions of life."God's Law: an Interview with Rabbi Meir Kahane". Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Kahane, Meir (1974). "Palestine?". mkwords.com.
If there are those who wish to create something known as 'Palestine' they are welcome to do so in 'Jordan' which in itself is a fictitious state created by the imperialist British by cutting away, in 1921, the eastern part of the Land of Israel. The Arabs who call themselves 'Palestinians' had the opportunity to create a 'Palestine' in a far larger part of the Land of Israel but refused to do so. They lost that chance forever and if they refuse to create a state in 'Jordan' now, but insist upon war, they will lose again and lose 'Jordan' in the process because - while we will never begin a war for those parts of the Land of Israel now under foreign rule, should the Arabs begin that war and we liberate still other areas of the Land of Israel, then those will never be given up either.
- Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel (2015). As Long as the Candle Burns. Mazo Publishers. p. 188. ISBN 978-1936778423.
As an activist he was an admirer and supporter of Rav Meir Kahane, when very few people were.
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