I cannot claim to have ever met Rabbi Kahane. I often wonder what kind of a welcome Rabbi Kahane would have given me. After all, I'm a gentile, and, if you read the essays of Rabbi Kahane, it is apparent in all of them, or most of them, that he was not too fond of Gentiles. I can't say I blame him. History is proof of the condemnatory fact that Gentiles have never been too fond of Jews either.
I have never been able to understand anti-Semitism. OK, if someone, a Jew perhaps, is unkind to you, then, sure, it's your right to dislike that particular person-but not because he or she happens to be Jewish. After all, that particular person is not entirely representative of all Jews or Judaism. Think about it.
A dentist (who happened to be Jewish) once berated me for being late paying my bill. And this reprimand came immediately after we talked for quite some time about Israel and anti-Jewish hatred. This did not mean the dentist was deserving of anti-Jewish hatred, nor did it mean he was a bad example of Judaism. It simply means he had no patience for tardy clients-even if those clients are supportive of Israel and the Jewish people.
I no longer employ the services of this dentist, not because he's Jewish but because I have a difficult time paying my bills on time. I rather like the dentist, but not because he has no patience for people who are late paying their bills. I do not hate him because he's Jewish. That would be rather injudicious.
Rabbi Kahane was concerned about those Gentiles who hate Jews simply because they're Jewish. He was rightly concerned about those Gentiles who would blame the impatience of a dentist on his Jewishness, wilfully obfuscating the fact that a dentist is capable of being selfish as any other businessman or entrepreneur, regardless whether they are Jew or Gentile.
Rabbi Kahane once said, "I hate the enemies of the Jews, not because they are Arabs but because they are enemies." In this context-in the context of Israeli Jew versus the Muslim Middle East-he was referring to Arab Muslims. Let's be clear about that. If you study the history of Islam, if you've read the Koran, you will interpret that anti-Jewish hatred seems to be prerequisite of being a bona fide Muslim.
Even Bernard Lewis, himself a Jew and an historian honoured by the State of Israel, a so-called expert in matters pertaining to Islam, could not be prevented (or so it seems to me) from being influenced by Islam's religiously manifested hatred of the Jew. He wrote, "There is therefore no specifically Jewish political and societal culture or tradition. Ancient memories are too remote, recent experience too brief, to provide them." His statement is not at all dissimilar to Arab Muslim propaganda, a calumniation that knows no bounds in their efforts to obfuscate all of Jewish history, most notably the fact that one of the most strikingly expressive Mosques in the world sits atop "ancient" Jewish property. Perhaps Mr. Lewis missed this golden domed mosque when he entered Jerusalem to accept those honours bestowed upon him by the State of Israel. But enough of Bernard Lewis and his ignorance of archaeology and Jewish history.
Rabbi Kahane identified Arab Muslims as the most immediate enemies of Israeli Jews. Today he would have identified all Muslims as being the most immediate enemies of all Jews, not just Israeli Jews. Anyone who has read the Koran objectively, who has read the malefic sermons emanating from mosques the world over, who has paid more than minimal attention to the religious agenda of expansionist Muslim groups in the Middle East (even those like Fatah, who feign a sort of perverted Islamic secularism) knows with certainty that these are those "Arabs" Rabbi Kahane hated, and for good reason. He hated not only those Arab Muslims who teach hatred against the Jews, but also those Arab Muslims who accommodate so eagerly a religiously incited hatred of the Jews.
Rabbi Meir Kahane was a mere Jew. This is to say, he was nothing other than a Jew. He was a Torah Jew. And the thing I admire most about Rabbi Kahane is that he moved to Israel, something many other Jews have not the courage for. He also had the fortitude to challenge in public the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. This does not make him a racist. This makes him a Torah Jew. Better to live on your feet than to die on your knees.
So when Rabbi Meir Kahane (may his name be honoured) said or wrote bad things about Gentiles, I made it a habit to listen to him. There was not one instance where I found his words to be mendacious. I believe I have become a better Gentile because of Rabbi Kahane's words and the example he gave to both Jews and non-Jews. Now if only Gentiles would listen to him. If only the non-Jewish world would learn that when Gentiles hate Jews simply because they're Jews, which is an unjustified hatred, Jews will hate the non-Jewish world back. It's a totally human reaction. It's an eye for an eye.
Michael Devolin's Magic City Column