Meir Kahane

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Rabbi Martin David Kahane also known as Rav Meir Kahane (Hebrew: הרב מאיר דוד כהנא‎), and by the pen-names Benyac and David Sinai and the pseudonyms Michael King, David Borac, and Martin Keene[1] (1 August 1932 – 5 November 1990) was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli parliament or Knesset.[2]

Kahane gained recognition as an activist for Jewish causes, such as organizing Jewish self-defense groups in deteriorating neighborhoods and struggling for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate.[3][4] Later he was known in the United States and Israel for political and religious views that included proposing emergency Jewish mass-immigration to Israel due to the imminent threat of a "second Holocaust" in the United States, advocating that Israel's democracy be replaced by a state modeled on Jewish religious law, and promoting the idea of a Greater Israel in which Israel would annex the West Bank and Gaza strip. In order to keep Arabs, whom he stated would never accept Israel as a Jewish state, from becoming a numerical majority in Israel, he proposed a plan allowing Arabs to voluntarily leave Israel and receive compensation for their property, and forcibly removing Arabs who refused.

Kahane founded both the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the USA and Kach ("This is the Way!"), an Israeli political party. In 1984 he became a member of the Knesset when Kach gained one seat in parliamentary elections. In 1988, the Israeli government banned Kach as "racist" and "undemocratic" under the terms of an ad hoc law[5]. In 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre perpetrated by a Kahane follower, Kach was outlawed completely.[6] The U.S. State Department listed it as a terrorist organization in 1994.[7][8]

Kahane was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in November 1990, after concluding a speech warning American Jews to emigrate to Israel before it was "too late."[9][10]


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