Meir Kahane

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Meir Kahane, 1975

Meir Kahane (1 August 1932 – 5 November 1990) was an American-Israeli Orthodox rabbi, writer, and politician who served in the Israeli Knesset. He called for the creation of a Jewish theocracy in Israel, governed by the Halakha, in which non-Jews (including Arabs both in Israel and the occupied territories) would have to accept non-citizenship as "resident aliens" or be forcibly deported if they refused to leave with compensation. He often engaged in efforts to intimidate Arabs to persuade them to leave. He was assassinated by El Sayyid Nosair, whose legal defense costs are reported to have been partly paid by Osama bin Laden. He founded the Jewish Defense League, which was declared a terrorist group by the United States and Israel.


  • I prefer a powerful and proud Jewish State that is hated by the entire world than an Auschwitz that is loved by one and all.
  • The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who when they had all the territories they now demand be given to them for their state -attempted to drive the Jewish state into the sea.
  • Every Arab is a proud Arab, a good nationalist. And because of this, he is opposed to the existence of the state of Israel.
  • I say the Arabs must leave Israel, precisely because I believe if the Arabs stay, they'll become the 'good Arabs' as I understand the term.
  • 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? Obviously, nobody in Israel can accept this. Because to accept this would amount to being anti-Zionist!
  • 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. Therefore democracy and Zionism cannot go together. And Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed this state to be a Jewish state, is a totally schizophrenic document. You just can’t, on the one hand, want a Jewish state and at the same time give non-Jews the right to become a majority.

Never Again! (1972)

  • There is no greater anti-Semite than the Jewish one, and none hates the Jewish people more than the Jewish traitor and apostate.
    • Ch. 2: The Deafening Silence

Quotes about Meir Kahane

  • Today I view Sharon and Kahane and the Gush Emunim not simply as examples of the weaknesses of our yidishe mentshlekhkayt, Jewish humanness, but as a political evil. Some of my friends challenge this view as extreme. But I believe it. Kahane and Sharon are not concerned with Jewish values, Jewish security, Jewish survival. I don't believe that their policies are motivated by Jewish fears of annihilation. There are, I know, many Israeli Jews whose refusal to accept a Palestinian state is rooted in real fears, some of which I share. And because of this, I see their position differently, even though I strongly disagree with it. However, Kahane and his kind express blatant racism, chauvinism, a hunger for military power, a greed for territory, an insistence on religious and cultural supremacy. These can be easily analyzed as originating in feelings of inadequacy and insecurity and even fears of annihilation. Yet they are manifested in such hatred of Palestinians, such callous indifference to non-Jews and non-Jewish culture that I do not consider these "psychological roots" of fascism legitimate concerns. And so I continue viewing Kahane and his politics as an evil that impinges on my Jewishness because they actively try to redefine and reshape it through the actions and policies of the Jewish State. Everything Jewish in me resists their efforts.
    • Irena Klepfisz "Khaloymes/Dreams in Progress: Culture, Politics, and Jewish Identity" in Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches and Diatribes (1990)
  • Farrakhan is one person, one black person. Why is it that no black person seems to be rabid about Meir Kahane? Farrakhan is rejected by a lot of black people who wouldn't go near that man. It's not an equal standard-one black person is all black people.
    • 1989 interview in Conversations with Toni Morrison edited by Danille K. Taylor-Guthrie (1994)
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