Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rabbi Kahane's "Our Challenge: The Chosen Land"--A Review

I've been reading Rabbi Meir Kahane's (H"YD) "Our Challenge" (circa 1974) in which the Rabbi outlines his plan of action for the coming years. He calls for drastic reforms to Israeli education. He says that while our fathers and grandfathers came to Israel with clear attitudes regarding their religious/cultural values, the new, "golden youth" of our day have no such moral roots to base their lives upon. Instead, they have a vacuum of ideas and such a vacuum leaves them open to all kinds of attacks from different directions.

The Rabbi talks about transfer of the Arab Israeli population and of Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Aza. He supports voluntary transfer of those Arabs willing to accept monetary compensation in order to move elsewhere. He says that those Arabs not willing to immigrate from Israel would be faced with the harsh reality of having to swear allegiance to the State of Israel in order to receive Israeli citizenship. These Arabs would be pressured not to receive citizenship status--instead not having voting rights and rights to own land if they choose not to become citizens.

Kahane stresses the importance of Aliya. He calls on all Jews living in the Galut to return to Israel. He calls on the Israeli government to accept Jewish moral values. He confronts Hellenist Jews who would gladly accept all Arab demands for a "return" of "Palestinian" refugees, the "return" of territories liberated in the Six-Day War, etc.

The Rabbi speaks to the people of his age just as much as those of our times. He calls on young Jews not to hearken to false prophets: intelligentsia calling on the Jewish People to succumb to Western culture, thereby losing their Jewish identity. He warns against assimilation and intermarriage. He draws parallels between the events of modern day and Nazi Germany. Our people are becoming increasingly Westernized, forgetting their rich religious/cultural heritage.

The Rabbi doesn't buy into popular myths. He gives no legitimacy to a "Palestinian" people. He claims such a people don't have a unique culture, language, history or religion. These are Arabs who lived in Israel prior to our victory in the 1948 War for Independence. Had it not been for the Roman Emperor Hadrian's brutal assault on Judea, and his subsequent renaming of Judea as "Palestine", today's "Palestinians" would perhaps be known as "Judeans." The fact that not only the outside world, but Israel itself has recognized a "Palestinian" entity legitimizes their struggle. To be sure theirs is the struggle to wipe out the Jewish People--and not just to reoccupy Judea and Samaria as they'd like to have us believe.

One thing I simply cannot fathom is that the media destroyed the Rabbi and the Jewish People vilified him and continue to vilify him and all his stood many years following his death. Are his teachings not the teachings of most clear-headed Orthodox rabbis today!? Are the ideas he presents in his books/lectures not those that every religious-Zionist Jew today adheres to? Why so much hate for a man who died defending the Jewish People and the State of Israel? Why the vilification and eventual murder of his son and family members?

I'll be honest: there's much I don't understand. I don't understand why Rabbi Kahane was a racist. I don't understand why he was a Nazi. I don't claim to understand why the Shin Bet helped murder his son and part of his family. I don't understand why there's so much hatred for the Rabbi and his ideas amongst fellow Jews. What I do understand is why the Arabs hated him and desperately wanted to get rid of him. The Rabbi presented the biggest danger to their cozy existence and perpetuation of Jew-hatred. He was a real threat to their neat little lives of lies and terror 

Funny this is that until I recently became interested in reading Kahane and watching his debates on Youtube, I too, bought into a lot of the lies being perpetuated about him. So deep is the hatred of authentic Judaism amongst today's liberal Jews, that as someone who lived in Israel, this hatred slowly became entrenched in me as well. Partly, I blame some of Kahane's followers who take the Rabbi's ideas out of context. They go too far in their own hatred. Of the Arab. Of their fellow Jew. But a large majority are well-educated, open-minded individuals with a burning desire for a more Jewish Israel.

Let's hope Rabbi Meir Kahane's ideas are fulfilled speedily and in our day!

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