Kahanism is an extremist Jewish ideology based on the views of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and the Kach party in Israel. Kahane maintained the view that the majority of Arabs living in Israel are enemies of Jews and Israel itself, and believed that a Jewish theocratic state, where non-Jews have no voting rights, should be created. The Kach party has been banned by the Israeli government and the U.S. State Department has labeled it a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
|Type||Far-right, Jewish extremism, Religious Zionism, Anti-Arabism, Anti-Islam|
|Rabbi Meir Kahane|
Chaim Ben Pesach (Victor Vancier)
While it is difficult to define Kahanism in an official manner, the term has come to denote the controversial positions espoused by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane's positions spanned a broad range of subjects.
The central claim of Kahanism is the belief that the vast majority of the Arabs of Israel are now, and they will continue to be, enemies of Jews and Israel itself, and that a Jewish theocratic state, governed by Halakha, absent of a voting non-Jewish population that includes Israel, Palestine, areas of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, should be created.
According to Kahane, the term "Kahanism" is primarily used by those who are ignorant of Torah Judaism in order to discredit his ideology, which he asserted is rooted in Halakha and the same as Torah Judaism. "Meir Kahane did not hate the Arabs – he just loved the Jews", said his widow Libby in her November 20, 2010 TV interview.
Since 1985, the Israeli government has outlawed political parties espousing Kahane's ideology as being "racist", and it forbids their participation in the Israeli government. The Kach party was banned from running for the Knesset in 1988, while the existence of the two Kahanist movements formed following Kahane's assassination in 1990 were proclaimed illegal terrorist organizations in 1994 and the groups were subsequently officially disbanded. Activities by followers with militant Kahanist beliefs continue to the present today, however, as seen below. In 2001, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights described the official Kahanist website, which was kahane.org at the time, as a hate site espousing prejudiced views in which 'Arabs generally and Palestinians in particular are vilified.'
The deadliest Jewish terrorist attack occurred when Dr. Baruch Goldstein, supporter of Kach, shot and killed 29 Muslim worshipers, and wounded another 150, at the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron, in 1994. This was described as a case of Jewish religious terrorism by Mark Juergensmeyer.:10 Goldstein was a medical doctor who grew up in Brooklyn and he was educated at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. He resettled in the Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank, and he was politically active for years – he saw Rabbi Meir Kahane as a hero,:53 and he was Kahane's campaign manager when he ran for the Israeli parliament through Kahane's Kach party.:8 When Goldstein was threatened with a court-martial for refusing to treat non-Jewish soldiers in the Israeli Defence Force, he declared: "I am not willing to treat any non-Jew. I recognize as legitimate only two religious authorities: Maimonides and Kahane."
Goldstein was denounced "with shocked horror" by Orthodox Jews, and most Israelis denounced Goldstein as insane. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin condemned the attack, describing Goldstein as a "degenerate murderer", "a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism". At the same time, Goldstein's actions were praised by some extremist settlers; Yochay Ron said that he "felt good" when he heard the news, and he also stated that Jews were "at war with the Arabs" and "all Arabs who live here are a danger to us... they threaten the very existence of the Jewish community on the West Bank.":52 Goldstein and other religious settlers at Beit Hadassah (both Kahanist and Gush Emunim) believe that the biblical lands on the West Bank are sacred, that Jews are required by God to occupy them, and that the presence of Muslims desecrates the Holy Land.:51–52 After this attack, members of the Kach Party praised Goldstein's actions, and in the ensuing political turmoil, the Knesset banned Kach in Israel. The Shamgar Commission in Israel concluded that Baruch Goldstein acted alone.
In October 1982 Yoel Lerner, a member of Meir Kahane's Kach, attempted to blow up the Dome of the Rock in order to rebuild the Temple Mount site.:45 He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Mark Juergensmeyer identified him as a Jewish religious terrorist, writing that he "yearned for a Jewish society in Israel. He hoped for the restoration of the ancient temple in Jerusalem, the exclusive right of Jews to settle on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and the creation of a state based on biblical law.":45 Lerner had previously served a three-year sentence for heading a group that plotted to overthrow the government and establish a state based upon religious law.
On August 4, 2005, Eden Natan-Zada, an AWOL Israel Defense Forces soldier, killed four Israeli Arab citizens and wounded several others when he opened fire on a bus in the northern Israeli town of Shfaram. Natan-Zada had recently moved to the settlement of Tapuach, site of a Kahanist yeshiva. Zada was handcuffed by the Israeli police who arrived to the scene but then lynched by the mob.
Roadside shootings, stabbings and grenade attacks against Palestinians have been carried out in Jerusalem and the West Bank by individuals or groups suspected of having ties to the former Kach group. Aliases such as "The Committee for the Safety of the Roads", "The Sword of David" and "The Repression of Traitors" have been used. The US government claims that these are all aliases of "Kach". In 2002, a Kahanist group known as "Revenge of the Toddlers" claimed responsibility for a bombing attack at Tzur Baher, an East Jerusalem secondary school for Arab boys, that wounded seven. The group also claimed responsibility for the 2003 bombing of a Palestinian school in Jaba that injured 20 and it was also thought to be linked to the 2002 Zil Elementary school bombing.
In the United States, Kahanist groups and organizations are largely inactive, and the bulk of their supporters have emigrated to Israel over the years. Kahane Net, the Jewish Defense League and B'nai Elim (formed by former JDL activists) are occasionally associated with Kahanism.
All Arabs who are prepared to accept the State of Israel as the exclusive state of the Jewish people and of no one else, will be allowed to remain in the land with the status of "resident stranger," as per Jewish laws. They will be granted personal rights but no national ones. They will have general economic, social, cultural, and religious freedom but will not be citizens of the Jewish State and will have nothing to say in its future in any way. Accepting this status, they are welcome to remain and are entitled to all the respect and decency that Judaism demands we grant to all humans who are resident strangers in our land and who bow to its laws and concepts.
In late 2001, the Jewish Defense League plotted to bomb the King Fahd mosque in Culver City, California, along with the office of California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.
In November 2001 the JDL's leader Irv Rubin and its West Coast co-ordinator Earl Krugel were arrested as part of a sting operation after an FBI informant named Danny Gillis delivered explosives to Krugel's home in Los Angeles. Bomb components including pipes, end caps, detonators and gunpowder were confiscated along with multiple rifles and handguns. In December 2001 Krugel and Rubin were arraigned on conspiracy charges to send explosives to the Sherman Oaks, California office of U.S. congressman Darrell Issa, a Lebanese-American, and to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California. According to the affidavit in support of the charges, Krugel had stated to an FBI informant that "Arabs needed a wake-up call and the JDL needed to do something to one of their 'filthy mosques'. According to the San Francisco Chronicle the affidavit also "painted a picture of a tiny gang that sat around talking about what to blow up but generally shied away from blowing up people.In 2003 the bombing charges were dropped and Krugel was allowed to plead guilty to reduced charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights, and to a weapons charge. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew accepted the plea.. Part of the plea agreement demanded that Krugel reveal the names of all JDL activists involved in the 1985 bombing of Alex Odeh's office. The plea agreement was later retracted with details sealed to the public. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2005, and three days later he was murdered by another inmate, who struck him in the head with a concrete block.Ben-Zion Gopstein
Ben-Zion Gopstein (also Bentzi Gophstein, or Bentzi Gophstain) (born 10 September 1969) is a political activist affiliated with the radical right in Israel, a student of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and founder and director of Lehava, an Israeli Jewish anti-assimilation organization. He was a member of the Council of Kiryat Arba, 2010-2013.Halachic state
Halachic state (Hebrew: מדינת הלכה, Medinat ha-Halakha) is the idea of a Jewish state governed by Halakha, Jewish religious law.Hilltop 26
Hilltop, outpost or lot 26, was an illegal outpost, consisting of a mobile home, founded by Netanel Ozeri outside Hebron in the West Bank. It lay approximately 100 metres (330 ft) from the Kiryat Arba settlement, in the Beqa'a valley. At the time of its destruction. Despite court orders, he kept expanding his outpost, refused to bullet-proof the caravan, fence the area he claimed in, or accept protection from the IDF.
The settlement was dismantled on the night of 24 March 2003 by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) due to a court order that established that the land belonged to Palestinian families who lived in the area. Ozeri's wife, Livnat, daughter of the Jewish terrorist leader Shaul Nir, stated on the occasion:"I will overcome my personal pain. But what is so painful is the Hillul Hashem [desecration of the name of God] that was committed here. Seeing that the Arab houses are still standing, while Jews destroyed houses of Jews - this is an indescribable pain." The settlement was the first to be destroyed during Ariel Sharon's second term of office.Islamic monarchy
Islamic monarchies are a type of Islamic state which are monarchies. Historically known by various names, such as Mamlakah ("Kingdom"), Caliphate, Sultanate, or Emirate, current Islamic monarchies include:
Kingdom of Morocco
Kingdom of Bahrain
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sultanate of Oman
Monarchies of Malaysia
Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
State of Kuwait
State of Qatar
United Arab EmiratesJewish Defense League
The Jewish Defense League (JDL) is a Jewish far-right religious-political organization in the United States, whose stated goal is to "protect Jews from antisemitism by whatever means necessary". It was classified as "a right wing terrorist group" by the FBI in 2001 and is considered a radical organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to the FBI, the JDL has been involved in plotting and executing acts of terrorism within the United States. Most terrorism watch groups classify the group as inactive. The JDL's website states that it rejects terrorism.Founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City in 1968, the JDL's self-described purpose was to protect Jews from local manifestations of antisemitism. Its criticism of the Soviet Union increased support for the group, transforming it from a "vigilante club" into an organization with a stated membership numbering over 15,000 at one point. The group took to bombing Arab and Soviet properties in the United States, and targeting various alleged "enemies of the Jewish people", ranging from Arab-American political activists to neo-Nazis, for assassination. A number of JDL members have been linked to violent, and sometimes deadly, attacks in the United States and in other countries, including the murder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee regional director Alex Odeh in 1985, the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, and a plot to assassinate Congressman Darrell Issa in 2001. Several JDL members and leaders died violent deaths, including Kahane himself, who was assassinated by an Arab-American gunman.According to the Anti-Defamation League, the JDL consists only of "thugs and hooligans". The group's founder, Meir Kahane, "preached a radical form of Jewish nationalism which reflected racism, violence and political extremism," attitudes that were replicated by Irv Rubin, the successor to Kahane.Jewish Defense Organization
The Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) is a militant Jewish organization in the United States.Kach and Kahane Chai
Kach (Hebrew: כ"ך) was a radical Orthodox Jewish, ultranationalist political party in Israel, existing from 1971 to 1994. Founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1971, based on his Jewish-Orthodox-nationalist ideology (subsequently dubbed Kahanism), the party earned a single seat in the Knesset in the 1984 election, after several electoral failures. However, it was barred from participating in the next election in 1988 under the revised Knesset Elections Law banning parties that incited racism. After Kahane's assassination in 1990, the party split, with Kahane Chai (כהנא חי, "Kahane Lives") breaking away from the main Kach faction. The party was also barred from standing in the 1992 election, and both organisations were banned outright in 1994.
Today, both groups are considered terrorist organisations by Israel, Canada, the European Union, Japan, and the United States. The groups are believed to have an overlapping core membership of fewer than 100 people.Kfar Tapuach
Kfar Tapuach (Hebrew: כְּפַר תַּפּוּחַ, lit., Apple-village), is an Orthodox Jewish Israeli settlement in the West Bank, founded in 1978. It sits astride Tapuach Junction, one of the major traffic junctions in the West Bank. The executive director of the village council is Yisrael Blunder and the chief rabbi is Shimon Rosenzwieg. In 2017, it had a population of 1,166.
The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.Masada2000
Masada2000 was a California-based website created and maintained by people from the United States, Israel, Brazil, and Switzerland. It has been described as "extreme pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian" and "radical-Zionist". The site supported and often quoted the views of Meir Kahane, although it had denied being Kahanist. Before 2001 the site was called Zion2000.Meir Kahane
Meir David HaKohen Kahane (; Hebrew: מאיר דוד כהנא; August 1, 1932 – November 5, 1990) was an American-Israeli ordained Orthodox rabbi, writer, and ultra-nationalist politician who served one term in Israel's Knesset. His work influenced most modern Jewish militant and far-right political groups.Kahane spent years reaching out to Jews through published works, weekly articles, speeches, debates on college campuses and in synagogues throughout the United States, and appearances on various televised programs and radio shows. He was an intense advocate for Jewish causes, such as organizing defense squads and patrols in Jewish neighborhoods and demanding for the Soviet Union to "release its oppressed Jews". He supported violence against those he regarded as enemies of the Jewish people, called for immediate Jewish mass migration to Israel to avoid a potential "Holocaust" in the United States, supported the restriction of Israel's democracy to its Jewish citizens, hoped that Israel would eventually adopt Jewish religious law, and endorsed the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Kahane proposed enforcing Jewish law, as codified by Maimonides. Non-Jews wishing to dwell in Israel would have three options: remain as "resident strangers" with limited rights, leave Israel and receive compensation for their property, or be forcibly removed without compensation. While he was serving in the Knesset in the mid-1980s Kahane proposed numerous laws, none of which passed, to emphasize Judaism in public schools, reduce Israel's bureaucracy, forbid sexual relations between non-Jews and Jews, and end cultural meetings between Jewish and Arab students.In 1968, Kahane was one of the co-founders of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the United States. In 1971, he co-founded Kach ("Thus"), a new political party in Israel. The same year, he was convicted in New York for conspiracy to manufacture explosives and received a suspended sentence of five years. In 1984, he became a member of the Knesset, when Kach gained its only-ever seat in parliamentary elections. In 1988, after polls showed Kach gaining popularity, the Israeli government banned Kach for being "racist" and "anti-democratic" under the terms of a law that it had just passed.Kahane was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in November 1990.Religious police
Religious police is the police force responsible for the enforcement of religious norms and associated religious laws.
While most police enforcing religious norms in the modern world are Islamic and found in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran, some are not (for example in Vietnam, the religious security police monitor “extremist” religious groups, detaining and interrogating suspected Dega Protestants or Ha Mon Catholics).Revisionist Maximalism
Revisionist Maximalism was a short-lived movement and Jewish fascist ideology which was part of the Brit HaBirionim faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) created by Abba Ahimeir.Sicarii (1989)
Sicarii (Daggermen) was a Jewish extremist group active in Israel that took responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks between 1989 and 1990 on Palestinians and Jewish political and media figures considered sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians. They named themselves after the ancient Sicarii rebels, a group of Jewish zealots who opposed Roman occupation of Judea.It is unknown whether the Sicarii were an organized group or a loose alliance of isolated extremists.In March 1989, The Jerusalem Post described the Sicarii as "the most sought-after under group in Israel today". In one telephone call, a member claimed they "identified" with the Kach political party of Rabbi Meir Kahane, which was outlawed as racist in 1988. Investigation failed to identify the members of the group or to identify the culprits in the attacks that the group claimed responsibility for.State of Judea
The State of Judea (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יְהוּדָה, Medīnat Yəhuda) is a proposed halachic state in the West Bank put forward by Israeli Jewish settlers. After the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) declared the existence of a Palestinian state in 1988, some settler activists (primarily Kahanists) feared that international pressure would lead Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and sought to lay the groundwork for an Orthodox Jewish state in the West Bank if this came to pass. The establishment of this state was announced in a Jerusalem hotel on December 27. Veteran Kahanist, Michael Ben-Horin, was declared president of the state of Judea. In January 1989 several hundred activists met and announced their intention to create such a state if Israel withdrew.The idea was revived following the unilateral disengagement plan which resulted in the forcible withdrawal of Jewish settlers from Gaza by the Israeli Defense Force in 2005. In 2007 Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo suggested the establishment of a new state in the West Bank in the event of Israeli withdrawal.Terror Against Terror
Terror Against Terror (Hebrew: Terror Neged Terror, "TNT") was a radical Jewish militant organization that sponsored several attacks against Palestinian targets. The group was founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach organization, and took its name from Kahane's theory that Arab terrorism should be met with Jewish terrorism. The group began committing violent acts against Arabs in 1975.
On March 3, 1984 a shooting attack against a bus of Arab workers left six injured; a group calling itself "the Shelomo Ben-Yosef Brigade of TNT" claimed responsibility. Three days later police arrested seven suspects in relation to the shooting and a recent string of fires and bombings directed against local Christians and Muslims. Charges were eventually filed against four of the men; Meir Leibowitz, Hazan Levy, Yehuda Richter and Mike Guzovsky, all members of the Kach party.On March 27, 1984, Israeli police arrested four youths from the Ein Kerem neighborhood in West Jerusalem for 14 hand-grenade attacks against Christian and Muslim holy sites. The attacks took place over a series of months in Jerusalem and Palestinian Territories and been claimed by "Terror Against Terror". Three of the suspects, Uri Ben-Ayun, David Deri and his cousin Amram Deri, were convicted and given six-year sentences with a three-year suspended sentence.
General Yehoshafat Harkabi described them as :serious people who occupy high positions among their public . .they have a rational state of mind and their chief motivation stems apparently from the awareness that annexation of the West Bank together with its Arab population would be disastrous and tantamount to national suicide - unless that population were thinned out and made to flee by terrorism. This reasoning is not moral, but it stems from the rational conclusion of the policy that aims at annexation. Such terrorism is neither a 'punishment' nor a deterrent; it is a political instrument.The Haggada of the Jewish Idea
The Haggada of the Jewish Idea, or Haggadah of the Jewish Idea (Hebrew: הגדת הרעיון, Haggadat HaRa'ayon) is a book written by Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane based on his commentary of the classic Passover Haggada, which is based on his father, Rabbi Meir Kahane's teachings of the "Jewish Idea". The book's commentary focuses on the "Jewish Idea" in general, particularly the concept of faith in God. It also focuses on the approach to Passover, and the nighttime Seder which would, "define the faith of the Jew."
The text of the book is presented in Hebrew with an English translation on the facing page. The majority of the Hebrew version's commentary, which is presented in English, is taken from Rabbi Meir Kahane's four-volume Tanakh commentary, Perush HaMacabee. Volume 1, on Exodus (covering Exodus 1:1-3:16), was later (in 2015) translated into English by Daniel Pinner. The other three volumes have never been translated into English. The book's commentary is differentiated from the main text by being on a grayish background. The book also contains footnotes, in English, at the bottom of the appropriate pages. Illustrations are spread throughout the text. The book also contains a glossary, that includes biographical information about many of the leaders mentioned, which can be found at the end of the book.The book was republished by the HaRaayon HaYehudi (Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea) in 1997.
The book was again republished and reprinted by HaMeir L'David on March 27, 2003. It was translated by Daniel Pinner, and edited by Lenny Goldberg, author of The Wit and Wisdom of Rabbi Meir Kahane. It was illustrated by Avinadav Vitkin.Theonomy
Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law), is a hypothetical Christian form of government in which society is ruled by divine law. Theonomists hold that divine law, including the judicial laws of the Old Testament, should be observed by modern societies.Theonomy is distinct from the "theonomous ethics" proposed by Paul Tillich.United Right (Israel)
The United Right (Hebrew: איחוד מפלגות הימין, Ihud Miflagot HaYamin; lit., Union of The Right-Wing Parties) is an Israeli alliance of right-wing to far-right religious Zionist parties containing The Jewish Home, Tkuma, and Otzma Yehudit. The list was created ahead of the April 2019 Israeli legislative election, after the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, urged the Jewish Home alliance to accept Otzma Yehudit as part of its list for the next election to avoid losing votes for the right-wing bloc. The parties' symbol is "טב".