Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
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Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.
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A BLOODY DAY IN JERUSALEM
The Rabbi (Sotah 46) comment on the Biblical law concerning the finding of the body of a murdered Jew with his murderer unknown. The law decrees that the respected elders of the nearest town or city come out to the place of the murder and declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood!” Meaning: the elders, the leaders, must declare before man and G-d that they did everything possible to insure that this Jew would not be murdered.
I have just spent two days of my life in an Israeli prison. Two more days. And I say, unequivocally, that what happened in Jerusalem last week, as two Jews were murdered and the police protected the murderer and other Arabs even as they tear-gassed Jews, is the clearest evidence that this Jewish government can never say, “Our hands did not shed this blood.” For surely they did, by a policy that is not only un-Jewish, but sheer madness.
I arrived shortly after the two murders. But first consider its circumstances. The murders took place in broad daylight, a little before 11A.M., with tens of people in the street. It took place in Jerusalem’s main street, Jaffa road. It took place across the street from the main Post Office. And it took place around the corner from the main police station, in the Russian Compound.
And there is more. The murderer, according to the police has “a security background.” Meaning, he was arrested in the past for terrorist and nationalist involvement. Arrested, freed, and allowed to remain in the country. He had spent the night before at the Al Aksa Mosque that desecrates the Temple Mount and, there, listening to the Moslem hate and incitement, decided to murder Jews.
The Arab approached the bus station on Jaffa Road and without warning pulled out a knife and stabbed Nissim Levi and Kalman Vardi as well as three other Jews. Kalman Vardi died on the spot. He was 76. Nissim Levi also died there. He was 91. One of the seriously wounded was a woman of 81. As the Arab fled, he was caught, and as an infuriated Jewish crowd attempted to get him, a policeman fell on the Arab, covered him with his body and saved his life. Police then physically beat up Jews and drove the Arab away.
When I arrived shortly thereafter, furious Jews were milling about, frustrated, bitter, impotent. I climbed on a railing and spoke to them. I said that things could not continue this way. I said that Arabs were not the problem but rather the Jews in power, the government that was so impotent, the leftists who give such moral, financial and legal support to the Arabs, the Israeli news media that so encourages them. I said that until Arabs are dealt with with a heavy hand, Jews will continue to be murdered in their own land in increasing numbers.
I began marching east, towards the Old City. But now hundreds, if not more, had gathered and walked behind me. The police reinforcements were arriving, and as we reached the end of Jaffa Road, the police official in charge of the operation, Natan Kremersky, stopped me and said: “If you go further there will be blood.” Thinking he meant that the Jews would shed Arab blood, I said: “If you had done that, things might have been different.” “No”, he said, “I mean that we will use force against you.”
When I informed the crowd, they were so furious that they shouted, “Go ahead. We will follow you.” We began marching toward the Old City and as we neared the walls, a solid line of police horses and others with helmets and clubs barred the way. More ominously, they had their gas masks on and we could see the gas guns aiming at us.
As we came face to face with the police, the head of the Jerusalem Patrol, known as “Velvel” (from a religious family in Jerusalem, though he is no longer so), raised a portable bullhorn and shouted: “This is an illegal gathering. I will give you a reasonable time to disperse. You have three minutes.”
I approached him and said: “If your grandfather would be here, he would slap you in the face.” Velvel reddened but did not reply. At that point, with not more than a minute elapsed, I saw Kremersky approach Velvel and say something to him. Suddenly, without warning, the horses charged the crowd with tear gas blasting. I received a full blast in the face and the police began hitting Jews. My people dragged me away; I could hardly breathe. The nearest building was the one used as a court by the municipality and the people inside opened the doors, giving us water and muttering against the police.
We remained for about half an hour and then, with my eyes burning but able to see, I walked down Jaffe Road with a number of Kach people. The police were there, in force still, and as I passed they arrest us.
I spent the next 48 hours, two full days, in a small cell with six other Kach members. The fact that the Jewish prisoners and the police inside treated us as kings made no difference. Inside with us were some 80 Arabs, eating, drinking and being kept there at Jewish expense. The police told me that they were afraid to mistreat them because the news media and the Red Cross would immediately intervene and they (the police) would be reprimanded and suspended. Their frustration was evident as was their growing weariness.
It was clear to me sitting in that foul-smelling cell with a toilet in the room (a “Turkish toilet,” as it is known, with only a hole over which the person much perch) that the State of Israel was collapsing and that the prime culprits were the “elders,” the leaders, the government.
It was also clear to me that there must be a change, a fundamental change in the very system of the government, from the present fraudulent democracy (which is, of course, not democracy at all) to strong government that will save us from ourselves.
As I was freed, a few hours before Shabbat, I heard over the radio that Shamir had visited the wounded and said, “Jews must defend themselves and not leave the attackers in one piece.”
I thought to myself: How long will we continue to accept this paragon of hypocrisy and disaster? And when a Jew does defend himself and shoots an Arab, what does the government of Shamir do to him? It arrests him and places him on trial. The problem is not Arabs; it is Jews. Jews such as Shamir and Arens and Rabin – not to mention the leftists – whose babbling lack of policy allows an intifada to continue for 18 months (!) and for Jews to be murdered in their own cities. They must go. Or there will be terrible things in Israel.
Written May 12, 1989
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