Menu JTA Search

Kahane Predicts He Will Become the Prime Minister of Israel

Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the extremist Kach Party in Israel, predicted today that he will become Prime Minister of Israel because the Israel government is unable to prevent Arab terrorism.

Kahane, answering questions after delivering a speech to a National Press Club luncheon here, said that American Jewish leaders are “terrified” of him and that their greatest fear is that some day they will have to be at “Washington airport to greet Prime Minister Kahane.”

In his talk to the National Press Club, broadcast on National Public Radio and C-Band TV, Kahane used humor and a more subdued tone than usual to present his views to what was probably his largest non-Jewish audience ever.

The American-born rabbi, who recently resigned as head of the Jewish Defense League which he founded, strongly denied that he was a racist, declaring that he is against racism “with every fibre of my body.” He said he was offended by Israel President Chaim Herzog’s recent statement comparing his views with those of the Nazis. He said his policies are not “Kahanism, it is Judaism.”

ATTITUDE TOWARD ARAB POPULATION

Kahane maintained that there is a basic “contradiction” between the State of Israel being both a democracy and a Jewish State. He argued that Israel cannot be a Jewish State if the Arab population, having a vote, outnumbers the Jewish population.

Kahane said that is why he wants to expel all Arabs, from Israel proper as well as Judaea and Samaria. He said he would allow Arabs to stay in Israel with full personal rights if they would give up the right to vote. But, he said, no self-respecting Arab under the age of 40 would accept this.

At the same time, Kahane maintained that if the Arabs left Israel, the country could remain a democracy for Jews since while he would prefer a Jewish state ruled by the Torah, he would never impose the will of a minority on the majority.

Kahane denounced a law pending in the Knesset outlawing from participation in Knesset elections parties preaching racism or which are opposed to democracy or to Israel being a Jewish State. He called the law, which is seen as aimed at Kach, “stupid and amateurish” and said if it was introduced in the U.S. Congress, American Jewish organizations would be “climbing the walls.”

But when asked what he would do if Kach was outlawed, he replied, “If I am banned, like (Charles) de Gaulle, I’ll go home to wait for the people to call for me.”

SEES NO CHANCE FOR PRESENT PEACE EFFORT

Kahane said he saw no chance for the present peace effort working since all Arabs, including the moderates, want the return of all the land taken in 1967, including East Jerusalem, which, he noted, no Israeli would accept. He said for this reason he has no objection to Israel talking to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

But Kahane warned that if any Israeli government decided to give up any part of the West Bank, he would lead a massive civil disobedience effort and “I would go down in history as did Dr. Martin Luther King.” Kahane maintained that if he was Premier, the U.S. would still help Israel because it was in America’s national interest. He suggested that America needs Israel more than Israel needs the U.S. because “on Judgement Day, God is going to ask, did you support Israel?”

At the same time, Kahane said the “best thing the American government can do for Israel is to with hold economic aid and force us to live like we should, not like Rothschild importing color TVs and German cars” but “working hard.”

NEXT STORY