They Must Go

Rabbi Meir Kahane writes in his book They Must Go:

The analysis and proposed transfer of Arabs from Israel that I have set down are not personal views. They are certainly not political ones. This is the Jewish outlook, based on halakhah, the law as postulated in the Torah.

The removal of all Arabs who refuse to accept the exclusive, unquestioned Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael is not only logical and normal for any Jew with a modicum of an instinct for self preservation; it is also the Jewish halakhic obligation. It is important that we know this in order to realize what true “Jewishness” really dictates and in order to instill in ourselves the faith and assurance that if we do this, all the nations in the world will be incapable of harming Israel.

The Torah viewpoint on the status of non-Jews in Eretz Yisrael is part of a total viewpoint on the very nature of the Jewish people and of the Land of Israel. Of necessity, it opens up the questions: What is a Jew?Why the Land of Israel? What is the relationship of Jew to Gentiles? In the eyes of Judaism, Jewish nationalism, as such, is meaningless. What, after all, is the logic behind a separate nation, flag, parliament, defense system? Why set up barriers between people? What nonsense is the national anthem that glorifies one people that is, in essence, no different from another? Nationalism is, at best, foolish. At worst, it leads to hatred, to division, to war. There is no special meaning to the Jewish people if it is merely one more of the myriad of nations. In that case, the fate of the Jew is like the fate of the Moabite or Canaanite or Finn or Turk. The Jewish people can then exist, evolve, and die out. Its disappearance from the world scene is then as possible, and as probable, as that of all the other ancients who were Jewish contemporaries in biblical times and are long since gone.

But the Jewish people is not merely one more nation. “Though I put an end to all the nations among whom thou art scattered, but I will never put an end to thee” (Jeremiah 30:11). Israel is indestructible. It is unique, it is holy, it is the Chosen of the L-rd; it has a reason for being. Its national uniqueness is built on an idea, on an ideology, that it alone has. That is, indeed, reason to be different. The Jew is selected and obligated to be a religio-nation, commanded to obey the laws and follow the path of Torah. Through sacred covenants, first with each of the three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then with the entire nation standing at Mount Sinai and listening to the voice of the Alm-ghty, the Jewish people was born: “Now therefore, if you will surely obey My voice and observe My covenant, then you shall be unique unto Me above all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).

The covenant. The Jewish people took upon itself the yoke of the L-rd, acknowledging him as G-d and observing His laws. The Alm-ghty chose them as His unique people, pledging that they would be indestructible and would live in peace and prosperity in their own land, Eretz Yisrael.

“Unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18).

The land was given as a reward, as a blessing. But it is more, much more, than that. The people of Israel have more than a rightXo the land; they have an obligation. “For you shall pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the Land which the L-rd your G-d gives you, and you shall possess it and dwell therein” (Deuteronomy 11 :31).

A unique people given, uniquely, a particular land. Unlike all the other faiths that are not limited to one special country, the Jew is given a particular land and commanded to live there. And for a reason, as Moses explains: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the L-rd, my G-d, commanded me, that you shall do so in the Land whither you go to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 4:5)

It is impossible to create a holy, unique people that dwells as a minority within lands that belong to others. The majority culture will infiltrate, influence, corrupt, woo, tempt, pervert. The Jew is commanded to create for himself a holy nation, and that can only be done free of others, separate, different, apart. That is why the unique Jewish nation, chosen for holiness and a unique destiny, was given a land for itself: so that it might create a unique, holy society that would be a light unto the nations who would see its example and model.

Such a state is reserved to the nation to which it was given for its particular goal and destiny. It was taken from nations – the Canaanites – in order that the Jew fulfill his obligatory destiny.

The L-rd, Creator and Proprietor of the world – all the lands are His. He took that which was His from the Canaanites and gave it to His Chosen People Israel. “And He gave them the lands of the nations and they inherited the lands of the people, so that they would observe His statutes and guard His laws …” (Psalms 105:44-45). The right of the Jewish people to the land is not based on human favors or historical residence. It is a title granted by the Builder and Owner. Clearly, it was not taken from one set of nations in order that others share it with the Jews. The land was given to serve the Jewish people so that they have a distinct, separate place in which to fulfill their obligation. There can be no others who freely live there, let alone share sovereignty and ownership. To allow such a thing is to invite both military attack and spiritual assimilation, and thus to destroy and put an end to that unique Torah society for which the Land of Israel was given to the Jews.

This is so for all non-Jews. Any grant to them of citizenship that implies ownership and a right to shape the destiny and character of the state destroys the uniqueness and entire purpose of giving the land to Israel. It invites spiritual assimilation and eventually demands for political autonomy.

How much more so for the non-Jewish residents of the land who lived there before the L-rd gave it to the Jews. Those residents refuse to recognize such a fact. They believe the land to be theirs and will dream of the day when they will regain it. To allow them to remain as proprietors, or even freely living with restrictions, is to ensure not only the general spiritual assimilation that is threatened by any large number of non-Jews, but also the threat of revanchist political and military attack.

So basic and important is this concept that as the Jews prepared to cross the Jordan into the Land of Israel, as the waters rose to enormous heights and the Children of Israel rapidly crossed to the other side, as they were in the middle of the now-dry riverbed, suddenly Joshua paused and spoke to them. What was so vital that could not wait until they had crossed safely to the other side? What had to be said now, in the middle of the Jordan, as the waters piled higher and higher?

“While still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: Know why you are crossing the Jordan! In order that you drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you as it is written (Numbers 33:52): ‘And you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you.’ If you do this – it shall be good. If not – the waters shall come and inundate me and you” (Talmud, Sota 34a).

Nothing was more urgent than this message, for allowing the nations of the Land of Israel to remain there freely was to invite physical and spiritual threats, military or political efforts on the part of bitter, angry revanchist people to regain the land, spiritual and cultural assimilation, and disintegration of the uniqueness of the special society that the Jew was commanded to build.

And as the Torah clearly commanded: “And you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you. … But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come to pass that those which you let remain of them, shall be thorns in your eyes and thistles in your sides and shall torment you in the land wherein you dwell. And it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them” (Numbers 33:52-56).

The biblical commentators are explicit: “And you shall drive out the inhabitants and then you shall inherit it, you will be able to exist in it. And if you do not, you will not be able to exist in it” (Rashi – Rabbi Shiomo Yitzchaki).

“When you shall eliminate the inhabitants of the land, then you shall be privileged to inherit the land and pass it down to your children. But if you do not eliminate them, even though you will conquer the land you will not be privileged to hand it down to your children” (Sforno – Rabbi Ovadiah ben Yaakov).

“… The verse speaks of others aside from the seven Canaanite nations…. Not only will they hold that part of the land that you did not possess, but even concerning that part which you did possess and settle in – they will distress you and say: Rise and get out …” (Ohr Ha’Chayim – Rabbi Chaim ben Atar).

And so, the Talmud tells us: “Joshua sent three messages to the inhabitants [of Canaan]. He who wishes to evacuate – let him evacuate; who wishes to make peace – let him make peace; to make war – let him make war” (Vayikra Rabah 17).

The choices are given. Either leave, or prepare for war – or make peace. The choice of “making peace” is explained by the rabbis as involving three things. To begin with, the non-Jew must agree to adopt the seven basic Noahide laws, which include prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, immorality, bloodshed, robbery, eating flesh cut from a living animal, and a positive action — adherence to social laws. Once he has done this, he has the status of a resident stranger {ger toshav) who is allowed to live in Eretz Yisrael (Talmud, Avoda Zara 64b), if he also accepts the conditions of tribute and servitude. (It should be noted that the use of the word ger [“stranger”] in the Torah refers invariably not to the non-Jewish stranger, but to the convert to Judaism.)

Biblical commentator Rabbi David Kimchi (Radak) explains (Joshua 9:7): “If they uproot idolatry and accept the seven Noahide laws, they must also pay tribute and serve Israel and be subjects under them, as it is written (Deuteronomy 20:1 1 ): They will be tribute and shall serve you.'”

Maimonides (Hilchot Mlachim 6:1 1 ) declares: “If they make peace and accept the seven Noahide laws we do not kill them for they are tributary. If they agreed to pay tribute but do not accept servitude or accepted servitude but not tribute we do not acquiesce until they have accepted both. And servitude means that they shall be humble and low and not raise their head in Israel. Rather they shall be subjects under us and not be appointed to any position over Jews ever.”

Far better than foolish humans did the Alm-ghty understand the dangers inherent in allowing a people that believed the land belonged to it to be given free and unfettered residence, let alone ownership, proprietorship, citizenship. What more natural thing than to ask to regain what it believed to be rightly its own land? And this over and above the need to create a unique and distinctly separate Torah culture that will shape the Jewish people into a holy nation. That “uniqueness” can be guaranteed only by the non-Jew’s having no sovereignty, ownership, or citizenship in the state that could allow him to shape its destiny and character. And so, concerning any non-Jew, Maimonides says: “‘Thou shall not place over thyself a stranger who is not of your brethren’ (Deuteronomy 1 7:15). Not only a king, but the prohibition is
for any authority in Israel. Not an officer in the armed forces … not even a public official in charge of the distribution of water to the fields. And there is no need to mention that a judge or chieftain shall only be from the people of Israel. … Any authority that you appoint shall only be from the midst of thy people” (Hilchot Mlachim 1:4).

The purpose is clear. The non-Jew has no share in the Land of Israel. He has no ownership, citizenship, or destiny in it. The non-Jew who wishes to live in Israel must accept basic human obligations. Then he may live in Israel as a resident stranger, but never as a citizen with any proprietary interest or with any political say, never as one who can hold any public office that will give him dominion over a Jew or a
share in the authority of the country. Accepting these conditions, he admits that the land is not his, and therefore he may live in Israel quietly, separately observing his own private life, with all religious,
economic, social, and cultural rights. Refusing this, he cannot remain.

This is Torah. This is Jewishness. Not the dishonest pseudo-“Judaism” chanted by the liberal secularists who pick and choose what “Judaism” finds favor in their eyes and who reject what their own gentilized
concepts find unacceptable. They weigh “Judaism” on the scales of their own intellectual arrogance – an arrogance, incidentally, of intense ignorance.

And if this is not only the right of Jews but their obligation, what do we fear? Why do the Jews tremble and quake before the threat of the nations? Is there no longer a G-d in Israel? Have we so lost our bearings that we do not understand the ordained historical role of the State of Israel, a role that ensures that it can never be destroyed and that no further exile from it is possible? Why is it that we do not comprehend that it is precisely our refusal to deal with the Arabs according to halakhic obligation that will bring down on our heads terrible sufferings, whereas our courage in removing them will be one of the major factors in the hurrying of the final redemption?

More than 2,500 years ago, a giant of a Philistine named Goliath strolled out to the ranks of Israel and mocked them: “I have humiliated the armies of Israel this day – give me a man that we may fight together.” No one moved. The giant was too powerful, and it was madness, suicide, to confront him.

Instead, they sat in shame and fear, as every morning and every evening — for forty days — the Philistine taunted and humiliated them.

And then came young David; untrained in war, a shepherd, coming to bring food to his brothers serving in the army. And as he stood there, Goliath emerged. David listened in fury. David waited eagerly — who
would leap up to smash the Philistine? David watched in disbelief as no one moved. All feared the power of the Gentile.

David’s wrathful words sound across the ages, as an eternal guidepost: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should humiliate the armies of the living G-d?”

David, instinctively, understood that the humiliation of Israel was, simultaneously, the humiliation of the G-d of Israel. He realized that the brazen readiness to attack and mock the Jews stemmed from a total
lack of fear and awe of the G-d of Israel. For the Philistine there was no G-d of Israel; at best He was impotent; in truth He did not exist as a divine power.

This contempt for the G-d of Israel as manifested by the humiliation of the Jews is Hillul Hashem, the desecration of the name of the L-rd. Rejection of Jewish rights and power, the contemptuous refusal to
recognize Jewish sovereignty, threats against the Jew and his land, all are signs of disregard and contempt for the G-d of the Jews. “The degradation of Israel is the desecration of the name of the L-rd”
(Rashi, Ezekiel 39:7).

All this David understood, and he understood, too, that Hillul Hashem dare not be countenanced: it must be erased. There is no room for fear, because the entire reason for Jewish being is Kiddush Hashem, to
sanctify the name of the L-rd and thus persuade the world to follow Him.

And so, young David went out to face the giant Philistine, veteran warrior and professional soldier, “whose height was six cubits and a span … a helmet of copper upon his head … armed with a coat of mail … and the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. …” And David spoke to him before he killed him, saying: “Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the L-rd of H-sts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast humiliated.

“This day will the L-rd deliver thee into my hand, and I will smite thee and take thy head from thee … that all the earth may know that there is a G-d in Israel”

And David slew him and took his head from him and the earth – and the Jews – knew that there was a G-d in Israel.

What is wrong with us? Who blinded us and blocked from our memories the existence and power of the G-d of Israel? Did a Jewish people exist for 2,000 years without state, government, or army, wandering the earth interminably from land to land, suffering pogroms and Holocaust and surviving powerful empires that disappeared into history, just by coincidence? Did a Jewish people return to its land from the far
corners of the earth to set up its own sovereign state – exactly as promised in the Bible – through mere natural means? What other nation ever did such a thing? Where are the Philistines of Goliath today?
Where is imperial Rome with its Latin and its gods? Who defeats armies in six days, and on the seventh they rest?

Who if not an Israel because there is a G-d in it! The Land of Israel is His divine land, the State of Israel is His divine hand. History is not a series of random events, disjointed and coincidental. There is a Creator, a Guide, a Hand that plans and directs. There is a scenario to history. The Jew has come home for the third and last time. “But the third shall be left therein” (Zechariah 13:8). “The first redemption was that from Egypt; the second, the redemption of Ezra. The third will never end” (Tanhuma, Shoftim 9).

We live in the era of the footsteps of the Messiah, the beginning of the final redemption. The rise of the State of Israel from the ashes of Auschwitz marks the end of the black night of humiliation and agony, of
Hillul Hashem, and the beginning of the dawn of the final, total redemption, of Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of G-d’s name.

The State of Israel is not just one more Asian nation. It is G-d’s hand, raised high — at last!– to put an end to the humiliation of His name. “Therefore say unto the House of Israel … I do this, not for your sake, O House of Israel, but rather for My holy name which you desecrated through the nations whither you came. And I will sanctify My great name that was desecrated amongst the nations … and the nations shall know that I am the L-rd when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes. And I shall take you from among the nations and gather you out from all the countries and I will bring you into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:22-24).

The State of Israel is not a “political” creation. It is a religious one. No power could have prevented its birth and none can destroy it. It is the beginning of G-d’s wrath, vengeance against the nations who ignored, disdained, and humiliated Him, who found Him irrelevant, who “knew Him not.” But it is only the beginning. How the final redemption will come, and when, depends on the Jew.

“The exiles shall be ingathered only through faith” (Mechilta, Exodus). Faith! If we have it, if we truly believe in the existence of the Creator and Guider of history, the G-d of Israel, we can bring the final redemption today. “When will the Messiah come? Today, as it is said: ‘Today, if you will hearken unto my voice'” (Psalms 95:7, Sanhedrin 98a).

But that faith is not a cheap thing, not mere words and lip service. It must be proved, tested in the fiery furnace of willingness to sacrifice. The readiness of the Jew to sacrifice and endanger himself in order to erase the worst of all sins – the desecration of G-d’s name – is the true test.

The Arabs of Israel represent Hillul Hashem in its starkest form. Their rejection of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel despite the covenant between the L-rd of Israel and the Jews constitutes a rejection of the sovereignty and kingship of the L-rd G-d of Israel. Their transfer from the Land of Israel thus becomes more than a political issue. It is a religious issue, a religious obligation, a commandment to erase Hi Hashem. Far from fearing what the Gentile will do if we do such a thing, let the Jew tremble as he considers the anger of the Alm-ghty if we do not.

Tragedy will be ours if we do not move the Arabs out. The great redemption can come immediately and magnificently if we do that which G-d demands. One of the great yardsticks of rea/ Jewish faith in this time of momentous decision is our willingness to reject fear of man in favor of awe of G-d and remove the Arabs from Israel.

The world? The nations – united or otherwise? What do they matter before the omnipotence of the Alm-ghty!

“Why do the nations rage … the kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the L-rd and against His annointed. … He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the L-rd shall mock them …” (Psalms 2:1-4). The Jewish people and state cannot be destroyed. Their weapon is their G-d. That is reality.

David understood “realism” and “practicality” and “rationality.” His last words before killing Goliath were: “And all this assembly shall know that not with the sword and spear does the L-rd save. For the battle is the L-rd’s and He will give you into our hands.”

And then David removed Goliath’s head from his shoulders and removed humiliation from Israel.

Let us remove the Arabs from Israel and bring the redemption.


About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see 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 (
This entry was posted in Arabs, Israel, R. Meir Kahane. Bookmark the permalink.