There is a specter haunting Israel and its American Jewish supporters. It is called guilt. Guilt over the “repression of Palestinian human rights.” Guilt over the refusal to remove “the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East, the “occupation of Arab land seized in 1967.” Guilt over the unwillingness to give the “Palestinians” their own state in the “occupied lands.” And now, guilt over the killing of “Palestinians” and “innocent civilians in Lebanon.”
It is a powerful weapon, this guilt; Jews have a difficult time coping with it. A people that has been the most debased of losers for 2,000 years finds it difficult to cope with victory. It finds it extraordinarily difficult to remain normal. It inherits insecurities, complexes, guilt. It begins to believe its enemies slander. It loses its self-respect and longs for the love of a hating world. It is important that those who have retained their self-esteem and some Jewish survival speak out against the disease of guilt and moral insecurity.

No guilt. Are the lands of 1967, “occupied” by the Jews, the main obstacle to peace? Is the year 1967 the origin of the conflict? How peaceful it must have been in 1966, when Sinai and Gaza were in Egyptian hands and the Golan was possessed by the Syrians to shell for 19 years the Jewish settlements below, and when Judea-Samaria (the “West Bank”) and East Jerusalem were in the hands of the “moderate” King Hussein. Why did they all go to war? What did they want then? When one has East Jerusalem and attacks Israel, can it be that he desires, West Jerusalem? And Tel Aviv?

And what did they wish in 1947 when they rejected the “Palestine” state offered them by the United Nations and went to war, killing fully 1 percent of the population? And what did they wish in the riots of 1936-38 when there was no country called Israel and they murdered more than 500 Jews? And in 1929 when no “Zionist occupation troops” were in Hebron, why did the “Palestinians” rise up to murder 67 Jews in one day? And why the pogroms in Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1920 and 1921?

What troubles the Arabs is the very presence of large numbers of Jews in the land, Israel of any size, Zionism. That is what troubles the Arabs. That is the obstacle to peace. Let us inscribe that on our hearts lest we open the doors to a repetition – on – a grand scale – of that which the Arabs have done to Jews since 1920. And the bearers of guilt would do just that.

No guilt. There is one sublime reason why we should not give up a centimeter of land: It belongs to us!

If we have no right to Judea-Samaria, then we indeed have no right to Tel Aviv. Abraham did not walk on Dizengoff Street, nor did our ancestors live in the Israeli cities that were built in the 20th century. But Abraham, who lived in Hebron, and Jacob in Shechem, now Nablus, and David in Bethlehem are the ‘sole legitimate reasons that Jews can lay claim to a Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim of the guilt-ridden left. The land belongs to us because the G-d of Israel, Creator and Titleholder of all lands, gave it to us.

No guilt. There is no such thing as a “Palestinian people.” They are Arabs, part of the Arab nation, possessors of 21 lands. Let them live in peace in any or all of them. but, there are no “Palestinians.”

It was the Roman emperor Hadrian who, after the Jewish revolt against the Romans, angrily erased the name of the state, Judea, and invented the name “Palestine,” after the Philistines. In every normal case, an existing people gives its name to a land. The Franks named it France and the Angles, England, and the Germanics, Germany. Only in this ludicrous case does a Roman invent a name, give it to a land, and the arriving Arab trespassers become “Palestinians.” One presumes that had Hadrian not changed the name, Israel would today be fighting Yasir Arafat and the Judean terrorists.

No guilt. The “Palestinians” civilians in Lebanon cheered and supported every Palestine Liberation Organization murder and shelling of Jewish towns. They are united in hatred of Israel. It would be nice if they were not mingled with the P.L.O., but they are. And if the only way to destroy the terrorists is by shellings and bombings that take the lives of people who cheer our death, we have no choice. I wonder how many mourned and protested the killing of German civilians during World War II bombings of Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden? And Gen. Yekutiel Adam was gunned down and murdered by a 14-year-old “innocent Palestinian child.”

No guilt. There is nothing ethical about dying or anything moral about another Holocaust. There is nothing immoral about winning and nothing necessarily noble in a loser. Let us cast off the chains of guilt and reject the accusations of its bearers. The greatness of Judaism is its spirit, but no spirit can survive without a living body.

No guilt. Rather faith, pride, strength and the love of Jews rather than the enemy who would destroy them. That is sanity, that is Judaism.

Rabbi Meir Kahane
“K A H A N E”
The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea

Nissan -5737 April-1977


If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the Establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for him the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government’s ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against the most dangerous of all Jewish holidays – Chanukah.

It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the “Feast of Lights”, and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie. For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that the mass of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected – it is this one. If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked – it is this one. If there is any holiday that is more “unJewish” in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices – I do not know of it.

The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud – is not the Chanukah of reality. The Chanukah that came into vogue because of Jewish parents – in their vapidness – needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of “we-can-have-lights-just-as-our-goyish-neighbors” and in an effort to reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive rabbi, turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic joke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or death and the pictures of Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples continue the fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality.

This is NOT the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and the crusades and Spain and Babylon. It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died. Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt. For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the REAL reason for the revolt of the Jews “in those days in our times.”

What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago? What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy? And precisely who WAS the enemy? What were they fighting FOR and who were they fighting AGAINST?

For years, the people of Judea had been the vassals of Greece. True independence as a state had been unknown for all those decades and, yet, the Jews did not rise up in revolt. It was only when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in all its bloodiness. It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud. What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashruth, to obey the laws of the Torah. IN A WORD EVERYTHING ABOUT CHANUKAH THAT WE COMMEMORATE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE ARE THINGS WE CONSIDER TO BE OUTMODED, MEDIEVAL AND CHILDISH!

At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were naïve and obscurantist. Had we lived in those days we would certainly not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist and large parts of the Conservative movements write this daily?) Surely we would not have fought for that which we violate every day of our lives! No, at best Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one. Poor Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well meaning chaps all but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary sacrifices.

But there is more. Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was NOT a Greek. He was a Jew.

When the enemy sent its troops into the town of Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshipped?) And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: “Whoever is for G-d, follow me!”

What have we here? What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry? What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious of Hashomer Hatzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalistic (if not Marxist) religion, to honor? What kind of nationalism is this for David-Ben-Gurion (he who rejects the Galut and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?

And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with FORCE? Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all!) UN-JEWISH, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and “descended to the level of evil,” thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.

Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate? Are these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to honor? Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass on to our children?

Where shall we find the man of courage the one voice, in the wilderness to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents-the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors? Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of Medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy? When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents? …Down with Chanukah! It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real. Such Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders. We must do all in our power to bury it.

 – December 15, 1972 Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings (5732-33) (1971-73)


Opening thoughts to book Listen World, Listen Jew by
Rabbi Meir Kahane

I sit here, in the Land of Israel: Jerusalem; Home. It is night and the stars twinkle with fierceness and a multitude of heavenly lights such as I have not remembered for many years. Across the valley sleep the hills of Benjamin and the lights of Ramalla shine directly across from me as to the left I strain to see Nebi Samuel, the grave of the Prophet Samuel. The night is totally quiet, carrying with it a stillness not born of the fear of other urban areas where people cling to their dwellings in the concrete jungle, but rather the gentle, peaceful quiet that affords tranquility to the soul and pause for thought to the mind.
I am home in Jerusalem and inside sleep my children who have returned with me. Tomorrow they will go to school, climbing the hills that forever bear the footprints of those who preceded them here so many years ago–their ancestors. They will walk the hills of Jerusalem, tread its streets, mingle with their brothers and sisters from Riga and Casablanca, pray at the wall and shyly–and then not so timidly–touch its craggy surface, add their lip prints to those who preceded them for twenty centuries and then joke in Hebrew with the bus drivers, drink their Jewish grapefruit juice as they read their Jewish newspaper and exult in their Jewish city.
“Our feet are standing within thy gates O Jerusalem,” and they will never leave. This is Zionism, and the United Gentiles call it “Racist” and debate how to take my city away from me. Foolish world; sooner will the sun fail to rise tomorrow. The Jews have come home to their Zion and have welded their city together with a fierce tightness that none-least of all the humor that is the United Nations-can sunder. A people which patiently bides its time for millennia will not easily-ever-give up its state and capital. A nation stubborn enough to awaken for centuries at midnight to weep for Zion and so obstinate as to pray in the North, the South, East and West, three times daily, four times on Sabbaths and holidays and five times on Atonement for the day when the Divine Presence will return to the Holy City, will surely do little more than yawn when the haters thunder about “Zionist hooligans.”
For two thousand years we wept for the Zion they tore from us with blood and fire; today it is returned to us and never again will it leave our possession. For centuries we were forced to visit as strangers at the sufferance of those who mocked and reviled us; today we sit as balel-batim, possessors and holders of title to our possession and never again will that title be effectively challenged. For a score of years no Jew could tread on the doorstep to the Holy Mount and place his slips of pleadings in the crevices of the Wall because Jordan was busy keeping the area Judenrein even as it was using the Jewish tombstones on the Mount of Olives to line latrines. Today a thousand Jews and more will pray at the Wall even as all others can pursue their own faiths with no one to prevent them. Never again will all the haters with all their lackeys and running dogs of Jew-hating imperialism, return us to the horrors that once were.
My first Sabbath in Jerusalem was the occasion for the reading in the Law of the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “For the sake of Zion I will not be quiet and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not hold my peace.” Let the world hear and the politicians remember. A people whose G-d keeps His word is not to be trifled with; a L-rd whose people is so determined is not to be taken lightly. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” for if an alien hand attempts to seize it again it will surely be cut off. Pray for the peace of Zion because if there will be war over it, the whole world will be plunged into a holocaust-and in the end it will remain Jewish. In blood and fire did Zion rise again-never again to sink to its knees. This is surely the promise we give the world, and the guarantors whom we bring as surety are the same ones our ancestors once brought before the Almighty at Sinai-our children. They walk the streets of Zion and their Jerusalem and with the strength of their young and mighty arms will they assure that those streets and stones and hills and homes will continue to be Jewish ever more.
A certain resolution on Zionism has been passed at the United Nations. In reality, it is a resolution on Judaism. It is important that a reply be given. It is important that the world know precisely what Zionism is and what the Jewish people are.
It is important that the nations hear our proclamation: “Listen world; I am a Zionist, I am a Jew!”
And listen, too, Jew. Listen so that you will understand yourself who you are and what and why. For there is no escape from it even if one should be so foolish as to desire to flee, the greatness and majesty of the Jewish destiny. Listen so that you will be able to stand proud and tall and know what to reply-with dignity and not hesitant defensiveness. So that you will know from where you came and to where you go, since without the former it is impossible to know the latter.
And so, listen Jew as we speak to a world that understands as little as you about the eternity of the Jewish people. Listen, as the Jewish Idea is proclaimed. Listen, and learn. Listen and return.
Listen world, listen Jews.

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