Kahane and his Kach MovementBy Zafarul Islam Khan
Baruch Goldstein, who murdered the worshippers in Hebron's al-lbrahimi Mosque on 25 February 1994, belonged to the Kach movement founded by a firebrand New York rabbi, Meir Kahane, who himself was killed in New York on 6 November 1990. He was 58 years old at the time and, according to a Palestinian calculation, had taken part in over 50 attacks on Arabs and the Aqsa Mosque. (His alleged assassin, Al-Sayyid Nusair, an Egyptian, was acquitted by a New York court in December 1991.)
Kahane was a demagogue who could go to any length in order to further his interests. Once he told his biographer, Robert 1. Friedman (False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane trom FBI informant to Knesset member) "the worse it gets for Israel, the better it gets for me," (IHT, 8 November 1 990).
Kahane was born 'Martin David' in 1932 in New York. As a young man he was attracted to the zionist youth organisation, Bitar. He studied in a Jewish Talmudic school and became a 'rabbi.' He founded the Jewish Defence League (JDL) in the US in 1968 to protect Jews from 'anti-Semitic' attacks. For his criminal activities he was jailed in the US in 1971. His parole money was paid by a Mafia don, Joseph Colombo. He served the FBI as an informant against Jews and supported the Vietnam war.
In the late 1960s Kahane's JDL spearheaded a violent and terrorist campaign against the Soviet Union in the US and Europe. His activities, according to the New York weekly, The Nation, were financed and promoted by a group headed by Yitshak Shamir, then head of the Israeli secret service (later to be assasinated by a Jew), Mossad's dirty operations department and based in Paris. The Nation said that the JDL's efforts on behalf of the Soviet Jewry involved 'a committee composed mostly of former members of the Stern and Irgun gangs some of whom at the time were employed by Mossad which planned and financed many of the JDL's militant actions against Soviet targets in the US and Europe. The article quoted Jewish figures as saying that the central figure in Kahane's control group was Shamir (JP, 21 October 1988).
Kahane migrated to Occupied Palestine in 1981 when he found it tough to operate in the US. He at once resumed his terrorist activities - this time against the Palestinian Arabs. He made a number of attempts to demolish the Aqsa Mosque. He capitalised on the respectability the rise of Likud under Begin and Shamir had bestowed on rabid racist politics in the Jewish State, and soon he established Kach (pronounced Kaakh, meaning 'thus' in Hebrew) movement with a clenched fist as its symbol. It may be regarded as a true reincarnation of the erstwhile Stern and Irgun gangs. Kahane called for the 'liquidation' of the liberal Jews about whom he said: 'their evil threatens every Jew, their sins will sink the Jewish ship.' (IHT, 8 November 1990).
Kach activists built settlements, illegal even by Israeli standards, in the occupied territories, sent out hit squads to beat Arabs in their houses, smash their cars and shops, and to harass them, threaten them, stage illegal 'document checks,' distribute insulting leaflets, and hold armed and provocative demonstrations in Palestinian strongholds like Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus. The Kahanists forcibly occupied the Mosque of Prophet Abraham in al-Khalil (Hebron) about 15 years ago. They still retain control over half of the mosque which they have converted into a synagogue. The Israelis have also occupied the adjacent cemetery which contains the grave of Prophet Abraham.
The then Israeli president Chaim Herzog, described Kahane as 'a mark of disgrace' which tarnished the Jewish people. 'I am ashamed that such a thing exists in our country,' he added (JC, 13 September 1985). Yet Kach continued to attract Israelis, especially the Sephardic youth. Kach became a partner in the ruling coalition of the Kiryat Arabah settlement (to which the Hebron murderer, Baruch Goldstein, belonged) on 19 July 1985 after signing an accord with another zionist movement which stipulated that the local council will take action to immediately dismiss all Arab workers in the settlement.
Kahane won a seat in the Israeli parliament, Knesset, in July 1984, representing Kach Party. Now he went about propagating his hate religion with more impunity. For reasons unknown, Kahane nursed blind hatred of the Arabs. Once he opened an address to a mixed Arab and Jewish audience in Haifa saying 'Greetings, Jews and dogs,' (JC, 16 August 1985). He believed and preached that 'the only good Arab was a dead one' (STM, 5 October 1980). Kahane drew parallel between the status of the contemporary Palestinian Arabs and the ancient Canaanites whose total extermination is mandated in the Bible. He often repeated his plans for the 'transfer' i.e., expulsion, of the Arabs from their own usurped country, and would go like this:
'I want to remove the Arabs because I don't want to kill them every week as they grow and riot. I do not want to see another Cyprus or South Africa or Belfast here because I want to see a Jewish State survive - and that is more important to me than equality between Jew and Arab (ibid).
'I don't want to kill all Arabs, nor do I want a situation in ten years where it will be impossible to expel them (ST, 11 May 1980). 'There will never be peace between Jews and Arabs. There are no moderate Arabs. There are two kinds of Arabs, clever ones and stupid ones. The stupid ones say what they mean - Syria, Libya. The clever ones mean it but they don't say it (Newsweek, 26 August 1985).
In fact, the recent hate-mail campaign by the JDL/Kach is nothing new. It publicly boasted to have sent out letters in February 1984 to a number of prominent Egyptian personalities which opposed relations with Israel, threatening to kill them if they did not change their stance (JC, 24 February 1984; al-Ahali, Cairo, 18 and 22 February 1984). In June 1984 he announced in a press conference in Jerusalem that his party is fully prepared to demolish the Aqsa Mosque, together with all other Islamic monuments in the holy city.
The Israeli parliament voted on 26 December 1984 to bar Kahane from visiting Arab villages and towns and made it compulsory for him to get prior police permit to do so. He had gone to a number of Arab villages and towns to 'persuade' the Arabs to emigrate and to convince Jewish wives of Arabs to leave their husbands. In August 1985 Kach hit international headlines when its thugs drove off Arabs from beaches on three occasions.
Kahane and his Kach movement were banned from contesting elections in Israel in 1988 by the Israeli High Court, for their racist and anti-democratic programme which threatened the electoral prospects of other Israeli parties. Kahane responded by threatening street violence and predicted that 'the day would yet come when I would rule over a theocratic, Arab-free Israel.' He added that he would take away the Arabs' voting rights or drive them from the country' (ST, 23 October 1988). The Knesset Election Committee renewed the ban on Kach participation in elections in June 1992. Yet the zionist system very much tolerates such fanatics.
Kach has been 'outlawed' by the Israeli government after the Hebron massacre but no arrests have been made and no properties have been attached; hence the terrorists will resume activity under a new banner (they already have another organisation, Kahane Chai, i.e., 'Kahane Lives'). One should not be surprised if the zionists one day honoured the likes of Kahane and Goldstein as great sons of Israel, as they did with the Stern and Irgun terrorists eventually.