Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Palestine" and Autonomy

Rabbi Meir Kahane “On Jews ad Judaism” May 25, 1979

 "Palestine" and Autonomy

“Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20)
“Hear, ye deaf, and look, ye blind, that ye may see” (Isaiah 42:18

Prime Minister Begin has been adamant in stating that there will “never be a Palestine state” and “we will never speak with the PLO.”  Yet in the Camp David accords, Mr. Begin agreed to the following:

“Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the representatives of the Palestine people should participate in negotiations on the resolution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspect.”  And again: “The solution from the negotiations must also recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements.”

The “Palestine” people.  For decades, Israeli leaders were careful never to speak of or recognize a “Palestine people.”  For if there exists a “Palestine people” what is a more just requirement and a legitimate right than a state of their own?  What is the most basic right of any people if not the right to its own state?  How can we speak of a “Palestine people” and then say “but they cannot have their own state!”

And if we speak of the “representative of the Palestine people,” what will be if these “people” choose as their representatives, the PLO?  And any Israeli leader who tells us that the majority of the “Palestinians” do not accept the PLO as their leaders, lies to us, and proof is his for the asking by simply allowing free elections in which the PLO is allowed to participate.  Indeed, there is ludicrousness in the repeated pledges against speaking with the PLO even as there is daily contact and cooperation with the PLO mayors of Hebron, Ramallah, Sh’chem and other towns!

When Begin signed an accord which had as its official English translation the concept of a “Palestine people” and its “legitimate and basic rights,” he set the stage for a confrontation with the entire world, a confrontation which is of his own making.  Instead of having cleaved to a staunch, open and honest disclaimer of any “Palestine people,” he, for the countless time, chose the path of deviousness by which he signed an accord that speaks of a “Palestine people” and then stated in a letter to Carter that he construes “Palestine people” to mean “Palestinian Arabs.”  It is, once again, the tortured legalism that Begin uses so often to evade confrontation but which is so meaningless to the world.  The official version speaks of a “Palestine people” and its legitimate rights, the most basic of which is clearly the right to the same kind of state that Jewish have.

 The FULL meaning of Autonomy

The commitment to FULL AUTONOMY by Begin in the letter of March 26, 1979 signed jointly by him and Sadat.  The letter states:
“The two governments agree to negotiate continuously and in good faith … They also agree that the objective of the negotiations is the establishment of the self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza in order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitant.”

No amount of legalism and tortured hair-splitting can possibly “prove” that Begin has not agreed to “full autonomy.”  In the minds of any honest person that means exactly what it says – FULL and not partial self-rule.  On the day that Sadat complains to Carter and the American people that Begin is dishonest and is not negotiating in the “good faith” required by the peace treaty, what will the response be?  What will American Jewish leaders say?  But more of that later.

The agreement by Begin to “full autonomy” is made even clearer in other paragraphs of the accords.  To the anguished and angry cries of opponents of the Purim Peace, claiming that autonomy will place Jews, living and traveling through the liberated lands, in jeopardy since the police will be Arab, Begin has attempted to claim that this will not be so.  Consider however, the agreement that Begin signed at Camp David”

“A strong local police force will be constituted by the self-governing authority.  It will be composed of inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza.”
And again: “A strong local police force will be established which may include Jordanian citizens.”

How can Begin possibly explain away this language?  The agreement speaks of a strong, exclusively Arab police force to be appointed by the Arab authority.  Will they catch the terrorists who fire rockets into Kiryat Arba?  Will they insure that the highway from Jerusalem and Beersheba and all the other roads be safe for Jewish riders?  And has being clarified for us what he meant by signing the agreement that reads in the Camp David accords”

“A withdrawal of Israeli armed forces will take place and there will be a redeployment of the remaining Israeli forces into specified security locations.”

I want an explanation, and all Jews should too.  Three things appear to emerge rather clearly from this.  One: There will be a WITHDRAWAL of Israel troops from the liberated territories entirely.  Two: For the “remaining” troops there will be a redeployment from their present positions that today are scattered throughout the territories and from which they go anywhere, any time.  Three: From now on there will be “specified” and limited locations for “security” beyond which troops will not go. 

What emerges most glaringly is a picture very different from the one Begin now seeks to paint for Israelis.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Amman and Jerusalem - 1968

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

  “Beyond Words” is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings  from 1960 – 1990 that originally appeared in The Jewish Press, other serial publications, and his privately-published works.
“Beyond Words” also includes a number of extra features:
Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.

“Beyond Words” now can be bought at  On the search line, type…  Beyond Words Kahane.

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 1

Amman and Jerusalem
November 22, 1968

There is great agitation and indignation within the United Nations today.  It all centers around demands for return by Israel of the land won from Jordan last year.  What land?  The area that is commonly known as the West Bank of the Jordan.  There is really more than a little irony in this demand.  Indeed, it approaches the heights of chutzpah.

It is not only that a state which attempted to destroy another one and lost has the gall to demand terms more properly suited to a victor.  It is not even the fact that the land Jordan demands was never legally and rightfully annexed by it in the first place.  It is really the fact that the state that calls itself Jordan is an entity that is illegal, per se.

As the great holy war swung into its full gear, the little king of the little Kingdom called Jordan began to rain his shells into Jewish Jerusalem.  His troops crossed the armistice line and seized territory in the no-man’s land in the city.  His words and acts were thrown into the battle to wipe out Israel and decimate its inhabitants.

Alas, Allah was unkind to Russia and the king’s legion, and uniforms flung aside, aircraft burning, shoes cast away – the Jordanians fled east.  From the plunderer came forth plunder and the Israelis swept to the Jordan to put an end to the insanity of a border that, in one place, was only fifteen miles from the Arab devil to the blue Mediterranean Sea.

The land that was taken, however, was not “Jordanian.”  It was part of pre-1948 Palestine; it was part or Eretz Yisroel, it was Jewish soil from the time of Abraham.

Here was the Old City of Jerusalem where Abraham brought his son Isaac for the Akeda; here was the city where David and his dynasty ruled; here was the sacred Temple Mount with its Western Wall waiting to be redeemed.

Here was Bethlehem were Rachel wept for her children on the way to Efrat.  Here was Hebron where the Patriarchs impatiently lay in anticipation of a speedy redemption.  Here was Jericho where the walls crashed down to herald the inheritance of the Holy Land by the Egyptian exodees.  Here was Judea and Samaria and all the places and sites that have become familiar to a Jewish and non-Jewish Biblical world.

Here was Jewish Eretz Yisroel, a land that had been reluctantly left outside the borders of a Jewish state in 1948 as the Jews of Palestine sorrowfully agreed to temporarily accept partition of their land in their desperate need of some land to house the displaced of Europe and the oppressed of greater Arabia.

But the agreement was conditional and the Arabs, predictably, relieved the Jewish state of any need to adhere to that condition.  The Arabs in psychopathic consistency refused any idea of compromise and rejected partition.  Their armies rushed in to battle the yahud, and the U.N. sat in an impotence that was destined to become its favorite pose.

It was Jewish blood that won and secured a Jewish state, and the plan that was rejected by the Arabs was buried, unmourned and unlamented.  And the West Bank of the Jordan? Under the U.N. plan it was to be given to an Arab Palestine state; under the Arab plan it to be given to an Arab Palestine state; under no circumstances did anyone foresee a usurper Jordan annexing it.

And yet, that is exactly what happened.  Possessed of a British-trained and run Arab Legion, King Abdullah proved to be the only foe that Israel could not overcome.  His army seized the West Bank and Old Jerusalem and decided that Israel would not have it and neither would an Arab Palestine be created.  From now on, it was to be part of Jordan.

No one accept this.  The U.N. denied the legality of the move; the Israelis refused to recognize it and the Arab states themselves fumed at the annexation.

On December 13, 1948, Egypt’s King Farouk served notice that he did not recognize Jordan’s right to the West Bank.  The Arab League threatened expulsion of Jordan from the body (Abdullah yawned and welcomed the move).  Faced with a fait accompli, the Arab League never did recognize the grab but adopted a resolution on May 13, 1949 “to treat the Arab part of Palestine annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants.”

So much for the Jordanian claim to the West Bank.  The land it claims is Jewish land, sorrowfully given up in return for a peace and friendship the Arabs never gave.  Their rejection of the latter doomed the former, and the land returned to tis true owners.

What is more important, however, is the need to examine the very basis of the travesty that calls itself Jordan.  In itself it is an illegality, a travesty of justice, a robbery of Jewish possessions.

There never was Jordan until perfidious Albion – the British Colonial Ministry – decided to invent one, and the story is one that more should know about.

When the Balfour Declaration backed the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, there was never any country that was known as Jordan.  The historic boundaries of ancient Israel included the east bank of the Jordan, and Balfour himself made this clear in a memorandum dated August 11, 1919:

 “Palestine should extend into the lands lying east of the Jordan?”

What happened?

A desert chieftain named Abdullah ibn-Hussein and his brother Feisal, fleeing the Arabian wrath of Ibn Saud, were offered in 1920 the thrones of Iraq and Syria, respectively.  Unfortunately for the Arabs, the French, who were given mandatory powers in Syria by the League of Nations, informed Feisal that he was most unwelcome in Damascus.  The Arab took the Gallic hint and departed

Since both brothers were British pawns in the struggle by the Colonial Office to make the Middle East British, Feisal was given the throne of Iraq by the British Foreign Office, while Abdullah was left holding an empty kingdom-bag.

Faced with this, Abdullah began to make all manner of bellicose sounds about marching on Syria and ousting the French.  While Paris hardly lost sleep, the British did not relish the idea of a confrontation between their puppet and the French and so, in 1921, Winston Churchill met with Abdullah and offered him an annual subsidy and established a new country to be known as “Transjordan” for Abdullah to rule.

It little mattered that such a step was illegal and that it robbed Jewish Palestine of a major share of its land.  Whitehall proposed and Whitehall disposed.

Transjordan came into being, a comic-opera illegality, ruled in theory by Abdullah but in practice by London.

This was the state that on May 31, 1967 signed a defense agreement with Nasser to destroy Israel; this was the state that declared through its king, on that same day: “With the help of G-d and the solidarity of the Arabs we will see the victory of truth over the lie-s of the enemy”; this is the state whose radio declared during the terrible days of June 1967.

“How long did we wait and prepare for these hours of honor and for the day the Arabs would advance . . . Be ready to meet on the soil of eternal Falastin [Palestine].” (June 1, 1967)

“Free citizens, heroic sons of Jordan.  The hoped-for moment has arrived.  Forward to arms, to battle, to new pages of glory.  To regain our rights, to smash the aggressor, to revenge.”
                                                                                                                        (June 5, 1967, 0915 hours)

“We are living through the most sacred hours of life . . . Long did we wait for this battle in order to erase our shame.”
                                                                                                            (The Premier, June 5)

“Today the soldiers of Hussein have brought doom to the Jewish strongholds in Jerusalem . . . They destroyed the Knesset and have liberated the holy soil from the Zionists.  The heroic soldiers are marching forward towards Tel Aviv.”
                                                                                                            (June 5, 1800 hours)

“Froward toward your meeting with Rabin in Tel Aviv.”
                                                 (June 5, 1155 hours)

Rabin was waiting, but the Jordanians never came.  They busily were heading in the opposite direction, where they sit today, and demand the return of a territory that was never theirs to a state that was illegal from its inception.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 3   1977-1981

 Dvar Torah: Bezalel

“Behold, I have called by name (b’shem) Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur…” (Exodus 31:2)

The All Mighty chooses Bezalel to be the architect and the builder of the first temple of G-d, the Sanctuary in the desert.  In a sense, the Sanctuary had a holiness that neither of the two Temples in Jerusalem had.  For while in the case of the latter two, the vessels were captured by the destroyers  (and in the case of the second one, the vessels were not even there to begin with), the vessels of the Sanctuary were not allowed by the All Mighty to fall into the hands of the gentiles.  And so, we ask:  Why was it Bezalel who was especially chosen for the great honor of building this holy sanctuary? 

Secondly, what does the phrase “Behold I have called by name” (b’shem) mean?

Thirdly, why does the Torah bother to give the name of both the father and the grandfather of Bezalel?  Rarely do we find the name of a grandfather given EVERY time that someone is mentioned.  Why bother to mention Hur’s name?

It appears to me that the answer to these questions holds deep truths.  To begin with, let us see who Hur was.  We first find him in the chapter dealing with the famous battle of Amalek (Exodus 17).  It is he and Aaron who holds the hands of Moses as he holds them high – the hands that symbolize the faith and trust in
G-d.  And so, Hur becomes associated with the man of faith.  But there is more, for if that is all, why is not one of Aaron’s descendants chosen to build the Sanctuary?  The answer is that Hur is a man of faith – and more.  He is one who proves it by reaching its zenith – Kiddush Hashem.

As the Jews throw off the yoke of the All Mighty and make for themselves a golden calf, it is one man who stands up to protest.  Aaron attempts to gain time by portraying himself a one who goes along with the people in the hope that as he delays, Moses will return.  He is a man who has faith and will never, himself, worship anyone but the All Mighty, but he does not stand up to protest!  One man does that: Hur.  Our Rabbis tell us that it is Hur who rises up to shout that this is wrong, and he is killed by the Jews (Vayikra Rabbah 10:3)  Hur reaches the zenith of faith – Kiddush Hashem.  It is easy enough to say that one believes and has faith.  The ultimate proof of it is that one is prepared to endanger himself for Torah and perhaps even lose his life.  That is the essence of faith.  That is Hur, the grandfather of Bezalel.

And who was his father?  The Rabbis tell us that it was Caleb, the very same Caleb who, along with Joshua, was one of the two dissenting spies.   While the other ten, in fear and lack of faith, spoke of the dangers in Canaan and the impossibility of defeating the enemies there, it is Caleb and Joshua who stand up and say:  No, we can defeat the enemy, no matter how strong.  Let us have faith in the All Mighty.

Again, two men of faith, but again, one of them takes that faith to its ultimate test.  For the Torah singes out Caleb:  “For My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit within him and has filled himself with faith after Me…” [“va’yemale acharai”] (Numbers 14:24).  Why is Caleb singled out over Joshua?  Because while both were men of faith, it was Caleb who rose to publicly protest the majority opinion: “And Caleb stilled the people … and said: Let us go up …” (ibid., 13:30).  It was Caleb who stood up before the raging mob and who endangered himself, who was prepared to give up his life, if necessary, for faith in G-d.  H reached the peak of that faith.

And that is why Bezalel, grandson and great-grandson of the men who reached the peak of faith, is chosen to build the Holy Sanctuary.  Because of the merit of his ancestors.  In return for Caleb’s being filled with another spirit, G-d says, concerning Bezalel:  “And I shall fill him with the spirit of G-d”  (Exodus 31:3).  In return for the fact that Bezalel’s ancestors called G-d by name, sanctified His name, the All Mighty says: “Behold, I have called Bezalel by name.”  Indeed, in the manner that a man measures things, thus is he himself measured.

It is Kiddush Hashem, the willingness to give of oneself in order to sanctify and magnify the glory of the All Mighty, that is the touchstone of Judaism.  Our failure to understand that, our failure to take risks and to “endanger” ourselves, is the clearest proof of the shallowness of our so-called faith.  We shall merit building the new sanctuary on that day when we become the descendants of a Bezalel, a Hur and a Caleb.
Written on April 1978

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Moses Speaks To Paraoh - "No Retreat No Compromise"

The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea
Shavat –5737 February – 1977

 "Moses Speaks To Paraoh" "No Retreat No Compromise "

“And Pharaoh called to Moses, saying: Go and worship the L-rd. Only your sheep and cattle will remain – your children will also go with you. And Moses said: You will also give us offerings and sacrifices for the L-rd our G-d, and our flocks will go with us…” (Shmot 10:24-26)

The ninth plague-darkness – has struck Egypt with a vengeance and Pharaoh breaks. Step by step he has retreated and after the eighth plague – locusts – he was prepared to allow the Jews to leave except for their children. Now he surrenders almost entirely as he agrees that all the Jews can leave. He only asks one thing, one compromise, one small victory for himself, that the Jewish cattle remain behind.

Consider; the Jews have been slaves for 210 years. They have lived in misery and persecution. They suffered decrees such as the one casting their male children into the sea. They cried out unto the L-rd for freedom and salvation. Now, apparently the great moment has arrived! Pharaoh agrees that they shall go free! What does it matter that he asks for their cattle? Give it to him! The main thing is peace and salvation and we are willing to give up cattle for peace!

But Moses knows that this is not the purpose of the freedom of the Jewish people and of the story of the slavery and exodus. He is not prepared to compromise one inch because he knows what the purpose of G-d is. When Moses first entered the presence of Pharaoh and said: “The L-rd, G-d of the Hebrews, has said: Let my people go!” Pharaoh contemptuously answered: “Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd and will not let Israel go!” Here is where the battle was joined. Here is the purpose and aim of creation – to have the world recognize the dominion and kingship of the L-rd being challenged. Pharaoh must be made to recognize and totally acknowledge the sovereignty of the L-rd over him and his people. He cannot make compromises; he cannot strike bargains. He must submit totally!

“And I shall be glorified through (the defeat of) Pharaoh and his army and Egypt shall know that I am the L-rd.” Only the total defeat of the wicked can raise and honor the name of the L-rd, says the Biblical commentator Rashi. This is why there will be no compromise with Pharaoh. He must totally submit, he must totally surrender.

And even when he apparently does this, after the plague of the first born, when he runs to Moses and says: “Get out, take your flocks with you, just leave and ask the L-rd to bless me!” Moses refuses and in the words of the Mechilta; “And he called unto Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and said: get up and leave! Said Moses unto him: No, we have been ordered not to leave our houses until morning. What are we, thieves that we should slink out in the night? No, we will leave only in the morning with an upraised arm before the eyes of all the Egyptians!”

Not one inch of retreat here. The lesson of the L-rd being the Omnipotent, King of the universe must be seen and acknowledged.

The lesson is an eternal one and must be learned in our time, too. The question of peace in the Middle East is a question of the Arabs and the world acknowledging the total sovereignty of the All Mighty. There can be no compromise on this. It is only a peace that comes with Arabs submitting to the yoke of the heavenly kingdom that will be a permanent one and the Jew who gives up part of his land as a compromise, violates the entire purpose of the rise of the Jewish State and the demand of the All Mighty that the nations acknowledge Him as King. There can be no retreat from land because that is in essence a retreat also from the Kingship of the L-rd.

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