Rabbi Meir Kahane & The Nazi Question

R. Meir Kahane can’t get through an interview without being asked if his program does not resemble that of Nazi Germany. He answers that anyone can convert to Judaism while the Jews of Germany could never be accepted as legitimate Aryan Germans by the Nazis.

On Aug. 27, 1985, Dennis Prager debated Rabbi Meir Kahane on the Ray Briem show. “It was one of the ugliest debates of my life,” says Dennis in a 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 15. “He was insulting the whole night.”

Here are some highlights of the debate as transcribed by Dennis Prager and published in his Fall 1985 edition of Ultimate Issues:

Briem: “Why in Israel, that always has had such compassion for people, invited the Arabs to come and stay in Israel when it was formed…would you want to kick them?”

Kahane: “Because the people of Israel and especially the Sephardic Jews of Israel, the Jews who came from Arab countries, didn’t learn about Arabs in seminars on the West Coast. They lived with Arabs, they know what it means to have lived under Arabs, and they’d never again want to.

“The problem is that the Arabs who live inside Israel hate Israel. And they understand that the Arabs, if they could, would do the Jews what they do to themselves every day in Beirut. They don’t want that to happen. They’re not troubled by the niceties of Western democracy.”

“I don’t hate Arabs. I love Jews. And I intend to save the Jewish people, both from Arabs and from themselves.”

Briem: “Where does your policy differ — other than doing away with them in a concerted campaign — from what Hitler did to the Jews?”

Kahane: “If you really mean that question, I’m astounded. The Jews of Germany never ever said, ‘This country is really ours, the Germans stole it from us, and when we become the majority, we’ll take it back and call it Israel.’ The German Jews wanted nothing more than to be the best Germans that ever lived. And the Arabs don’t want to be Jews or Israelis.”
“The Arabs say, ‘The Jews stole this country from us, we were the majority once, we want this country back, when we have it back it will be Palestine.’ And if there is anyone…who thinks that there is one Arab in Israel who would rather live in a country which is defined legally as the Jewish state, he has greater contempt for the Arabs than I thought that even liberals could have.”

“There is a basic contradiction between Zionism and Western democracy. A Jewish state at the very minimum means a state with a majority of Jews, because only in that way can Jews solve their own destiny, be masters of their own fate. Western democracy postulates the basic axiom that it doesn’t matter who’s the majority. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish or non-Jewish, whoever’s the majority is it. Therefore there is a basic contradiction, since most western Jews are basically schizophrenic, with one foot inside Judaism and the other half inside western culture, and they would like to believe that Judaism is Thomas Jefferson. It isn’t.”

Prager: “I’d like to defend Judaism from the smear campaign that Meir Kahane has directed against it.”

“[Kahane] is [antisemitism’s] tragic echo, produced to a large extent by the Holocaust and by the Arab desire to destroy Israel. He is a classic product of Jews being hated for all these centuries, and he has incorporated a mirror image of the non-Jew in his psyche. He hates non-Jews as he feels non-Jews hate him. His answer to Arafat is to be the Jewish Arafat.”

“Ray, you asked him, and he dismissed it as a lunacy, what really differentiates Meir Kahane’s attitude to Arabs from Hitler’s to German Jews. He didn’t answer you, because the difference is minimal.”

“This is a Jewish fascist. It is a tragedy that he cites that he is rooted in Judaism when there isn’t anything normative in Judaism — Orthodox, Conservative or Reform — that supports him.”

“One could cry over the fact that there is some popularity to someone who has such views when the Torah instructs the Jew to love the stranger because the Jews themselves were strangers in Egypt and know how it feels to be one.”

Kahane: “The Torah and the Talmud say any appointment of authority in Israel shall only be Jewish. That’s not democracy. Maimonides states clearly that no non-Jew shall ever be appointed over a Jew, even as a clerk concerning the water carriers.”

“Judaism states clearly that the Jews, when they create a Jewish state, will not grant citizenship to a non-Jew.”

Brien: “Dennis, Rabbi Meir Kahane has said here recently that the rationale for wanting to push all of the 730,000 Arabs out of Israel and the occupied territories, is that they hate Israel and Israelies. They think it is still Palestine and they resent it, they can never coexist because of that, and because of their birthrate one of these days they are going to become a majority.”

Prager; “It is the lie upon which Rabbi Kahane predicates his case, and it should be exposed as such. Let me cite just a handful of statistics. The Arab population of Israel was 11.1% in 1960. As of the last census last year it is 17%. In 1965, the average Israeli Arab had 8.4 children. In 1981 it went down to 5. The jews are at 2.7 and rising. They [the rates] are in fact going to meet as industrialization continues, Arabs leave their farms and so on. Basically, the rabbi bases his ideas on waht I have to call a lie, that Israel will cease to be a Jewish state given simple demographics.”

“Rabbi Kahane is by and large considered in the Jewish world an immoral aberration.”

Kahane: “Assuming the Arabs would become a majority, what would Dennis Prager say?”

Prager: “In theory, the Jewish state has a right to remain a Jewish state. Just as during WWII, England suspended certain democratic processes.”

Caller1: “Mr. Prager, do you believe that the Arabs, if they have a chance to destroy Israel, will do that?’

Prager: “Most Arabs would.”

Caller1: “Then from that standpoint alone you must admit that Mr. Kahane has a reason for doing that [throwing Arabs out] because the Arabs will unite and destroy Israel the first chance they get.”

Prager: “Yes, but one of the reasons that it is important to have a Jewish state is in order to preserve Judaism. But if Israel becomes like its Arab neighbors in moral outlook, then the only difference between a Kahaneized Israel and an Arafatized Jordan is the language they speak. So Israel’s reason for being, if it becomes a state as morally low as many of its neighbors, [is undermined]. Israel can continue to be a light unto the nations, as a democratic state in the midst of tyranny, and need not be compromised just because of its enemies.”

Kahane: “If all the Arabs tomorrow become saints, and I was now living in a state with 730,000 Arab saints who in 20 years will be two and a half or three million Arab saints, and in 30 years will be the majority of the country but saintly, I don’t want to live as a minority under any saints.”

Caller4: “I would rather see a strong Israel that everybody hates, rather than an Auschwitz that everyone loves.”

Prager: “I agree with you… Part of the giveaway on Rabbi Kahane’s moral understanding is as he said, ‘even if all the Arabs were saints.’ In other words, the issue is not morality, it is race. It is Arab blood that is detested, not Arab morality. In other words, no matter how decent they might be, he wants to kick them out. Morality is foreign to his understanding. it is a blood-based understanding.”

Kahane: “You know very well taht if any Arab came to me and said, I would like to become Jewish, and he converted according to the proper standards, of course, just as any other non-Jew, that he would be welcome, blood and all… My problem with the Arabs has nothing to do with their blood. It’s that they want Jewish blood.”

Prager: “You respect [Arabs] so much that you want to chase them out.”

Kahane: “Exactly.”

Dennis concluded in his journal: “Neither rationally nor morally can Kahane be distinguished from other religious extremists, including antisemites. He is a Jewish version of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the medieval Christian crusader.”

Dennis published a page showing parallels between Kahane’s legislation and the Nazis laws against Jews.

Dec. 13, 2001, Prager said that almost all of Kahane’s proposed laws for Israel (making it a crime for a Jew to sleep with a non-Jew, to swim in the ocean with a non-Jew, etc) came from Torah Law.

Wikipedia said: “Kahane’s legislative proposals focused on 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.”

Rabbi Kahane realized that what Jared Taylor wrote about the white conquest of
America would largely hold for the Jews in Israel (as well as for the Australians in Australia, the New Zealanders in New Zealand, etc):

The intentions of whites—sometimes good, often
bad—really did not matter. The fundamental fact is that one people had the land, and another, more advanced and powerful people wanted the land. The result was dispossession, and even now, despite a great deal of intermixing, Indians are a distinct people with a distinct identity that shows how difficult assimilation is across racial lines, even after 400 years. Race relations mean conflict.

From Ultimate Issues: Kahane’s Laws Against Non-Jews and the Nazis’ Laws Against Jews

Yair Kotler, one of Israel’s leading journalists, an editor of Haaretz and senior writer for Maariv, compiled a list of laws against non-Jews that Meir Kahane proposes that the Israeli parliament pass and has juxtaposed them with nearly identical Nazi laws against Jews. The list appears in Mr. Kotler’s book Heil Kahane (Modan Publishing House, Israel, 1985) and is translated from the Hebrew.

Kahane Legislation

Status of Non-Jews
a. Non-Jews have no national rights and may not take part in the political process of the State of Israel. They are forbidden to be appointed to any position of authority and prohibited from voting in elections to the Knesset or any other governmental or public body.
b. They have special obligations of taxes and servitude. If they do not agree to servitude and taxes, they will be forcefully expelled [from the country].

Residential Restrictions
A non-Jew may not reside within Jerusalem’s borders.

Prohibition of Intermarriage
Jewish men and women who are citizens and residents of the State are forbidden to marry non-Jews, both in Israel and abroad… Such intermarriages will not be recognized at all as marriages.

Relations Outside of Marriage
a. It is forbidden for Jewish men and women who are citizens of the state to engage in either partial or full sexual relations of any type with non-Jews, and this includes relations outside of marriage. Anyone who violates this section shall be imprisoned for two years.
b. A non-Jew who has sexual relations with a Jewish prostitute or with a Jewish male shall be imprisoned for fifty years.

Separation of Students
All educational institutions in the State of Israel will be separate for Jews and for non-Jews.

Prevention of Contact Between Youths
Camps and community centers and all [other] mixed institutions shall be prohibited. All programs of Jewish and Arab students visiting with one another in villages shall be prohibited. Trips and visits abroad, in which Jewish students visit in non-Jewish homes, as well as similar visits by non-Jews in Israel, shall be prohibited.

Separation of Beaches
Separate beaches of equal quality for Jews and non-Jews shall be set up. A member of one nation who is found at the beach set up for the other nation shall be imprisoned for a half year.

Nazi Legislation

Status of Jews
Jews may not be citizens of the Reich. They have no right to a political vote, nor may they serve in a public position.

Residential Restrictions
Apartments in Berlin and Munich that have been rented to Jews may not be re-rented to any Jew, his wife, or to a Jewish concern without special permision. (February 8, 1939)

Prohibition of Intermarriage
Marriages between Jews and citizens of the state who are of German blood are forbidden. Such marriages that have been contracted against this law are invalid even if done so abroad. (September 15, 1935)

Relations Outside of Marriage Between Jews and Citizens of the Reich

a. Relations outside of marriage between Jews and citizens of the state who have German or related blood are forbidden.

Separation of Students

There is now a prohibition on Jewish students studying in German schools. They may study only in Jewish schools.

Prevention of Contact Between Youths

a. It is forbidden to include non-Aryan students in visits to youth hostels.
b. It is not tolerable that Jewish students participate in school events in which they may come into physical contact with German students.

Separation of Swimming Pools and Places of Recreation

a. Jews may not enter public swimming places.
b. At recreation and medical places, Jews and non-Jews are to be separated.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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