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‘When Netanyahu legitimises Meir Kahane’s heirs, we’ve got a problem’

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Published: 12 February 2019

Last updated: 4 March 2024

ANSHEL PFEFFER No senior rabbi or politician has objected to his indecent proposal to get the Jewish Home party to link up with the other far-right parties, including the Kahanist party

I DON’T HAVE MANY good things to say about the rabbis who taught me as a teenager. Actually, I have very few good things to say about them. But I had a momentary recollection of positivity early this week when Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that he was trying to get the religious nationalist Jewish Home party to link up with the other far-right parties - including the Kahanist Otzma l’Yisrael, to avoid the right-wing bloc losing votes.

Back in November 1990, when the far-Right extremist Meir Kahane was assassinated in New York, our yeshiva forbade its students from going to the funeral in Jerusalem. Other religious nationalist yeshivas did the same.

This wasn’t a small thing. Telling yeshiva students you couldn’t go to the funeral of a Jew who had been murdered as a Jew. But there was a very self-conscious effort at the time to make it clear there was a difference between us and the Kahanists.

Fast-forward 28 years, and no senior rabbi or politician has objected to Netanyahu’s indecent proposal. At the most you can hear their muttering, "We’ll have to see in the polls if it makes electoral sense." Not a peep about how unthinkable the idea of joining a blatantly racist party should, one not morally worth considering, even if it would jeopardize the right-wing’s hold on power.

FULL STORY Does racism now define Jewish identity in Israel? (Haaretz)

READ MORE
Israel has a racism problem. Here are three ways to help fix it (JTA)

Photo: Activists of the far-right Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party. October 4th, 2018 (Rami Shllush)

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