On November 3 we attended the annual dinner in memory of Rabbi Meir Kahane. It took place at the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea (Yeshivat Ha’Raayon Ha’Yehudi) in Jerusalem. This religious institution was founded by the Rabbi in 1987, three years before his murder by an Al-Qaida terrorist.
Here is the place to say a few words about Rabbi Kahane. Without any doubt, he was a controversial leader, equally hated by the anti-Semites and the Jewish establishment. Many didn’t agree with his tactics and found them unusual and controversial. But the problem is that almost everything related to the Jews is unusual and controversial – anti-Semitism is an irrational hatred, which simply cannot be confronted with reasoning. Explaining the logical fallacies of that “doctrine” to those who practice it has saved very few Jewish lives (nothing illustrates that fact better than the Holocaust).
Rabbi Kahane changed the image of the Western Jew from a meek weakling to a tough fighter, who is not afraid to confront his enemies. His Jewish Defense League successfully confronted the black anti-Semitism in the inner cities in the 1970’s (yes, even if it is not politically correct to say it, the Black Panthers were quite a nasty bunch of racists). Later, after moving to Israel, he confronted in the same way the Arab terrorism.
The central idea in his teachings and practical work was the survival of the Jews as a tightly knit community based on the principles of the Torah. Despite his death, the idea still lives on, and a testimony to that was the presence of so many people at the dinner.
All of the speakers at the event emphasized the need of protecting Israel as a Jewish state, which was the initial idea that the international community supported when it was decided to restore Israel. A few of the speakers were rabbis, but we also heard people, who confronted the problems daily in person. A fascinating woman shared her story about how the Israeli authorities persecuted Jews to accommodate the Arabs. Her family home in the territories had been demolished six times over the last few years (in addition to Arab attacks).
Another prominent guest was Michael Ben Arie, a Member of the Knesset from the National Union Party. His work in defense of the Jewish state didn’t bring him many perks either.
He has been arrested for confronting the Arab extremists. A passionate and outspoken person, he discussed his work for stopping the illegal immigration to Israel. For the last few years, thousands of African immigrants (mostly Sudanese Muslims) had been smuggled illegally into Israel. In a way similar to the USA, many leftists and “progressive” people and organizations had fought against their deportation.
To show their hypocrisy, he did a public stunt, which caught the attention of the national television. Ben Arie went to an upscale swimming pool frequented by well-off leftists, and then he offered a few Sudanese immigrants free swimsuits and paid their entrance fee. It was very entertaining to watch how the lefties, who otherwise wanted all illegals to stay in Israel, go ballistic over seeing Africans swim in their pool.
After all the speeches ended, the yeshiva honoured the Director of JDL-Canada Meir Weinstein with a special award in recognition of his contributions in the struggle against anti-Semitism in North America.
The award was presented by Garth Kravath, who served as a head of the JDL security in the early 1970’s.
In his short speech Meir Weinstein shared his impressions from the meetings with Rabbi Kahane. He also mentioned an important fact – according to the statistics, the Jewish population of Israel would reach 6 million within the next few weeks. That is equal to the number of the Jews, who perished in the Holocaust. The number is symbolic, because due to the Iran threat and the threats from other countries, the Israeli Jews are in a similar danger, but this time they can rely on their own strength and achievements to confront their enemies.
The great food contributed to the good mood of everybody who attended.
The good mood also spilled over naturally into music and dances.
Notice the gun carried by one of the men in the picture. He was a rabbi from the yeshiva. It is a sign of the tense reality in the country – many ordinary Israelis are licensed to carry guns. Almost all security guards at hotels, malls, schools, etc. are armed. The vigilance and the realistic approach of the Israeli authorities to the Arab terrorism have paid off – there haven’t been terrorist acts for years in the most parts of Israel.
It was almost midnight when the event finished.
Next I will cover the Old City of Jerusalem. It is so rich in history that I’ll probably need several posts to cover everything…
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