Monday, April 14, 2014

THE KAHANE PHENOMENON

THE KAHANE PHENOMENON 

BY PROF. PAUL EIDELBERG

I am so disgusted with Isaeli politics that I decided to resurrect Rabbi Kahane.  [The above words and this article was sent by Paul Eidelberg to Dan Willens  who sent it to me. bg]


There is No Authentic Right in Israel

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Part I the Kahane Phenomenon

It has been apparent for a long time: there is no authentic Right in Israel. The Likud, erroneously identified as the Right, is nothing more than the right-wing of the Labor Party. If proof is wanted, recall that Likud leader Ariel Sharon, despite his party’s landslide victory over Labor in the February 2003 election, adopted Labor’s policy of disengagement from Gaza.

Sharon’s retreat from Gaza was only the first stage of a surreptitious plan to establish a Palestinian State.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was simply following Sharon’s agenda when he officially endorsed a Palestinian state on June 14, 2009 in a speech at Bar-Ilan University. But this agenda was initiated by the Rabin-Peres junta, when it signed the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993. Lurking in the Oslo Agreement was nothing less than the (perfidious) intention to turn Judea and Samaria over to the Arabs.  Why? To prevent this heartland of Israel from becoming the most populated area of the nation. Religious Zionists would have gravitated to Judea, the venue of Jerusalem. 

A burgeoning population of religious Zionists in Judea and Samaria would decisively reduce the percentage of secular MKs in the Knesset. Surely Netanyahu had this in mind in 2009 when he endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state in this land on which the Prophets tread and taught. And surely the abandonment of this land was on Sharon’s agenda when he adopted Labor’s policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza on the heels of the Likud’s February 2003 landslide victory. Gaza was only a ruse to condition Jews for the eventual disengagement from Judea and Samaria. This was the precondition of establishing a Palestinian state, which Netanyahu made official in his 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University, and without a protest from the religious establishment.

This silence from the keepers of the flame signifies a spiritual malaise.  The government’s territorial withdrawal syndrome follows like night follows day. Even though Israel’s existence is at stake, no authentic right-wing party has arisen to galvanize the public against this betrayal of the Jewish people. Why not?

Israel’s right-wing was buried with Rabbi Meir Kahane (z”l). Here let us pause and consider the Kahane phenomenon and why he was vilified as a “racist.”

Long before Kahane advocated the transfer and/or expulsion of Arabs from Israel, the idea was proposed by no less than Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, and other notables.  Herzl wrote:  “We shall try to spirit the penniless (Arab) population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries while denying any employment in our own country.”

So why was only Rabbi Kahane vilified as a racist? The foremost reason is this: Kahane was the first and only theo-political leader to attract public attention since Israel’s rebirth in 1948. Although the racist calumny was used primarily by liberal and left-wing secularists, Reform, Conservative, and “politically correct” Orthodox rabbis joined the chorus of abuse.

 By calling Kahane a “racist,” his calumniators, especially among the “Right,” intimidated many thoughtful, but more cautious, critics of the government and deterred them from openly supporting Kahane or taking a firm position of their own. Rabbi Kahane thus served as a convenient target for silencing right-minded public opinion, especially about Israel’s “fifth column” – Arabs committed to Israel’s demise. 

Most Jews in Israel know they can’t live in peace and equality with disciples of the Qur’an and Muhammad. What else can anyone with a stitch of intellectual integrity conclude given the appalling indoctrination of Jew-hatred in Arab school books, the collaboration of Israeli Arabs with Hezbollah, and the seditious behavior of Arab MKs? Here we must ask how has Israel’s government addressed this problem?

In the mid-1980s the Knesset passed a law barring from parliamentary elections any political party that advocated any form of “racism.” The intended target was not Muslims whose Qur’an  calls Jews “pigs” and “dogs.” No, the target was Rabbi Kahane. Let’s consider this carefully.

Kahane, who was elected to the Knesset in 1984, voted in favor of that anti-racist law. He did so because its final version excluded from the definition of racism any party that advocated laws consistent with the Halacha. This, he erroneously thought, would save him. Yet the final version of the law did not deter Likud and other Knesset members from petitioning the Supreme Court to bar Kahane’s Kach Party from competing in the November 1988 Knesset elections. Indeed, the judges voted unanimously in favor of the plaintiffs. This means they condemned Rabbi Kahane as a racist! Why did they perpetrate this injustice? 
One reason is this: they feared the truth so often articulated by Kahane, the truth about the genocidal objectives of Arabs on the one hand, and about the failure of Israel’s government to take proper measures to protect Jewish citizens on the other.  But there is something more to this story, for the elucidation of which allow me to quote from an article I wrote in September 1988, before the Supreme Court was petitioned to bar the Kach Party from the 1988 elections: 
Will Kahane be allowed to run for the 12th Knesset?  Obviously the Knesset will do everything in its power to disqualify this unSocratic gadfly. But what about Israel’s Supreme Court …? Did it not rescue Kach and Kahane from the machinations of the Knesset in the 1984election…? 
The trouble is this. When Rabbi Kahane ran for the Knesset in 1984, many people thought he would fare no better than in his previous attempts to enter that political menagerie. Certainly no one regarded him as a force to be reckoned with when it came to forming a coalition government. And so the Supreme Court could feel no qualms in applying, as it often does, principles of American constitutional law in the area of civil liberties. But today the question is not whether Kahane will get a seat in the Knesset (if he is allowed to run), but how many seats? People who did not vote for him in 1984 out of pessimistic expectations regarding his chances for election will certainly vote for him in November [1988], given the opportunity. And if only because of the intifada, Kach could become the third largest party in the Knesset. This is why I do not think the Supreme Court will come to Kahane’s rescue in 1988 as it did in 1984. 

Unfortunately, my prediction was correct. What is more, the same Court that barred Kach permitted the Progressive List for Peace, a pro-PLO party, to participate in the 1988 Knesset elections.  The Court thereby armed the wicked and disarmed the innocent. This has been the general policy of the government of Israel vis-√†-vis its domestic enemies, a policy that may be termed “government-licensed insurrection.”  Indeed, Israeli governments have not only armed Arab terrorists, but they are also paying these Arabs even while the Arabs are killing Jews! But this means that Israeli governments, especially their prime ministers, are accomplices to murder!

Part II.  The Silence About Evil: From Peres to Netanyahu
That politicians like Shimon Peres see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil about Israel’s implacable enemies may be attributed less to their escapist mentality, than to their intellectual dishonesty and cowardice: they simply can’t accept responsibility for the disaster they have inflicted on the people of Israel since Oslo. Moreover, they can’t transcend the indiscriminate egalitarianism of contemporary western democracy. This normless form of democracy accords disloyal Arabs the same rights as loyal Jews.

That Arabs attack and murder Jews because they’re Jews is conclusive evidence that these Muslims are racists on theological grounds. But to expose this racism and act appropriately toward these Arabs would require more philosophic wisdom, as well as more political probity and courage, than these politicians can muster. Moreover, for politicians like Peres or Netanyahu to acknowledge Islam’s implacable hatred of Jews would be to admit they themselves had long engaged in deception regarding the possibility of Jewish-Muslim coexistence, which they mouth for consumption abroad. This saves them from being accused of racism! 

Hence they saw in Rabbi Kahane a convenient scapegoat by which to conceal their cowardice and dishonesty. Whereas one academic wimp compared Kahane to Hitler proclaiming the Jews as the Master Race; other milk-and-toast academics called him the “Khomeini” of Israel. 

In the name of democracy, the acanemics barred Rabbi Kahane from speaking at Israeli universities. Some of these illuminati had nonetheless opposed, on grounds of “academic freedom,” the temporary closing down of PLO-infested Arab universities in Judea and Samaria! Still, apart from political motives, what was there about Rabbi Kahane that aroused so much vituperation?

More effectively than other rabbis, Kahane held up a mirror to self-effacing Jews: Jews embarrassed by hundreds of biblical verses like this: “You are a holy people to the Lord your God: the Lord has chosen you to be His special people, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth” (Deut. 7:6). No wonder reluctant members of the Chosen People were so embarrassed and enraged by Kahane. To the ignorant, such biblical verses smack of racism! The last thing these timorous and assimilated Jews want to see in Israel is the intellectual and moral cultivation of a people true to these words of the Torah: “Lo, it is a people that stands alone and does not reckon itself among the nations” (Num. 23:9).

Rabbi Kahane was proud of his Jewishness.  But he lived in a country whose ruling elites evince not a scintilla of Jewish pride. This is why they hated him. This is why they reviled him as a racist. This is why they drummed him out of the Knesset. And this is why they bear no small burden of responsibility for his murder.

Whatever shortcomings one may attribute to Rabbi Kahane – even the great men of the Bible were not faultless – this intrepid rabbi was a great Jew. That’s why he was banned from the Knesset.

That sinkhole of corruption is a haven for men without erudition, without spiritedness, without chests. But in addition to their personal faults, these politicians are undermined by the Myth of Democracy which places them on the same level as their Arab enemies.
To overcome these obstacles to Israel’s spiritual redemption and thus foster the development of a goal worthy of the name “Israel,” Rabbi Kahane sometimes resorted to strident rhetoric. But let’s remember that the Prophets were not milquetoast toast orators ala Benjamin Netanyahu. Had they been so, would we remember them?

If I am not mistaken, however, it must be admitted that despite his sharp mind, Kahane overlooked what might have been his best weapon. I have in view the Achilles heel of Israel’s ruling elites: namely, that Israel is not and never has been a democracy!Since Kahane was accused of being a fascist, it would have been quite simple to turn the accusation against his detractors by showing that modern Israel is in fact a democratically elected despotism; and he could have cited the illustrious Alexis de Tocqueville to prove it!

Assimilated rabbis are fond of saying, ala former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, that Judaism is democratic. Is it not clear to anyone with a stitch of intellectual integrity, however, that democracy’s basic principle of one-adult-one vote would consign Israel to oblivion if the Arabs were a majority? What a commentary on the intellectual caliber of Israel’s High Court of Justice! But that rabbis should genuflect to such sugary nonsense is disgraceful.
Unsurprisingly, rabbis were among Kahane’s greatest enemies. Some feared that his reputation as a racist, however slanderous and absurd, would undermine their own prestige.

One last word: While the people loved Rabbi Kahane, the Establishment abhorred him. He had the pulse of the people. They knew quite well about Israel’s Arab enemies, of whom Israel’s ruling elites – politicians and judges, intellectuals and journalists – were fearfully silent. And the silence continues to deafen us. The unSocratic Kahane spoke the truth, and it was this, not hemlock, that killed him. But that’s why there is no authentic Right in Israel.


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