Who is the most important Jewish leader of the last little while to die this past week? I’ll give you some hints. He was very active in Israeli politics, had leadership positions in a Jewish military, earned fame for his dealings with Arabs, and was assassinated. If you guessed Yitzchak Rabin, you’d be wrong. Or, at least according to the Jewish Press, who apparently believes that Meir Kahane is more worthy of a memorial tribute than the former war hero, Ramatkal, Israeli Prime Minister (twice) and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Shelley Benveniste, the JP’s South Florida editor, wrote a touching memorial to the good “Rabbi”, while no one could scrape together two words for Yitzchak Rabin.
Long time readers of my blog (of which there are none) may be aware of my frustration with the Jewish Press, a once-mediocre community rag that has since fallen to the level of hackish drivel whose sole utility is serving as filler for the weekly “shidduch crisis” columns and Pesach (and now Succos!) hotel advertisements which are its true purpose.
But this seems to be a much more dangerous development. Meir Kahane is not a good guy. He is not “misunderstood”, he is a schmucktard. He was a bad man. In an ideal world, no one would be writing tributes to this colossal waste of space, but even in a world where good and evil were locked in eternal struggle, one would hope that “America’s Largest Independent Jewish Weekly” wouldn’t. The paramilitary society he founded, the JDL, is recognized by the FBI and our State Department as being a terrorist organization. His political party was outlawed by the Israeli Knesset (!) as being too racist. The fact that the Jewish Press chose to write an article of slavish adoration about this crazy bigot, while completely ignoring Yitzchak Rabin is very disturbing. It sends the message that Kahane is a more widely respected figure in the Zionist and Orthodox Jewish communities than the former Prime Minister. If that’s the case, we’ve really lost our way.
Among the ridiculous statements in his tribute:
“Kahane, a graduate of Mir Yeshiva (Brooklyn), was a real Talmud chacham. For the ten years that he stayed in my family’s home on his visits to Florida, the light in his room would go on no later than five o’clock in the morning. He was learning Torah.”
Perhaps if Kahane would have gotten up a bit earlier in the morning, perhaps a quarter to five, he might have come across Exodus 20:12 – thou shalt not commit adultery. Which he did. With (gasp) a shikse! Whom he then dumped. And then she jumped off the 59th Street Bridge. A moral giant, for sure.
“Rabbi Kahane had a tremendous ahavat Yisroel, a love of his fellow Jew.”
Some of the Jews Kahane loved included Sol Hurok, the Jew whom the JDL tried to kill. And his secretary, whom they did kill. (Hurok’s capital offense was organizing for performing artists to come from the Soviet Union to the United States on cultural exchanges. His secretary’s sin was being in the office at the wrong/right time.)
“Kahane understood the urgency of the plight of Soviet Jewry.”
Better, apparently, than Soviet Jewry themselves. Natan Sharansky and other prominent refuseniks condemned Kahane and the JDL for their terrorist tactics (which included, inter alia, bombing Soviet embassies, missions and consulates), which they felt, quite rationally, put the actual Jews of the Soviet Union in a rather precarious position as scapegoat.
“Through the years, I have heard many people, who had never listened to the rabbi speak, or read any of his books or articles exclaim, ‘Kahane said we should have killed the Arabs!’ Of course, that is patently untrue. ... According to the Torah, the [ger toshav] may have personal rights but may hold no political position.”
Patently untrue, yes. You see, all he wanted us to do was to ethnically cleanse the Jewish state of nearly all of its Arab, by force, if that was necessary. As to the non-Jews who remained, they would get to live in an Apartheid state. Sheesh, Liberals, they distort everything.
In sum, Kahane was a schmucktard.