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Jerusalem - Comic Book Draws On Radical Rabbi Meir Kahane's Life

Published on: November 1, 2010 11:09 AM
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Jerusalem - The teachings of an ultra-nationalist rabbi whose anti-Arab message has inspired violence against both Palestinians and moderate Israelis have been transformed into a comic book that targets young Jewish audiences.

Miracle Man recalls the life and religious teachings of Meir Kahane, an American-born Jew who served in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and founded the militant group Kach. In 1988, the group was banned in Israel for being “racist” and “undemocratic”. It is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States government.

Released last week Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of Kahane’s assassination by an Egyptian gunman in New York City, the comic book depicts a series of right-wing religious-political images that Israeli and Palestinian human-rights activists fear are becoming more widely accepted in Israel.

“That this is being distributed openly says something about the political context in Israel, which is drifting towards racism and extremism,” said George Giacaman, a Palestinian democracy advocate and professor at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

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One image in Miracle Man shows the blue-and-white Israeli flag flying over the Dome of the Rock, a sacred Islamic site that has become a symbol of competing claims over East Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians. In the 1980s, a plot by radical Jewish sympathisers of Kahane to blow up the shrine was foiled by Israeli security.

Another image depicts the expulsion of non-Jews from Israel. It shows a man in traditional Arab clothing, followed by a robed monk, a black man holding a basketball and another person wearing a shirt emblazoned with a peace sign, walking in a single-file line out of the country. “He [Kahane] called for the removal of goyim [non-Jews] from the Land of Israel,” said the English translation of the picture’s Hebrew caption.

Levi Chazen, director of English communications at Haraayon Hayehudi, a religious school in Jerusalem, which produced and marketed the comic, mainly to children, said yesterday that the group had sold about 200 copies, at 50 shekels (Dh50) each, since releasing the comic.
Sample page of the book
The school says it disavows the Kach movement but shares the beliefs espoused by Kahane, even expelling non-Jews if they do not meet certain conditions.

Kach, as well as its splinter organisation, Kahane Chai, has advocated the expulsion of non-Jews from lands that make up the land of biblical Israel - territory that extends far beyond the country’s internationally recognised borders. Mainstream Israeli politicians, such as the outspoken foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, also have advocated strategies of ridding Israel of its large minority of Arab citizens.

“If they accept the conditions, that this is a Jewish state, for example, and if they have absolutely no political rights here, they can stay,” said Mr Chazen.

He said he was opposed to violence, and added: “Everything that Kahane said was in the Bible, so if somebody wants to call him racist, they would have to call the Bible racist.”

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, the executive director of the Jerusalem-based Rabbis for Human Rights, expressed concern that the comic book was another example of growing intolerance at a national level. He cited as an example a controversial bill passed this month by Israel’s cabinet that called for non-Jews to pledge their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

“As a rabbi, what I find most disturbing is that Kahane’s message is saying this is the real Judaism, and that Judaism and democracy don’t mix,” he said.

“What we’re seeing around the country, and especially recently, is that people are saying Kahane was right, and this comic book is another example of that.”

More samples of the comic book here 



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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 01, 2010 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Disgusting beyond belief, but what else would be expect from these dreche right wing fanatics who seek to provoke bloodshed and violence among the Palestinians and further marginalize eretz yisroel among the nations of the world. They and their families will be the victims of the violence they seek to provoke and they will have themselves to blame.

2

 Nov 01, 2010 at 12:01 PM brooklyndude613 Says:

we lost a tremendous man

3

 Nov 01, 2010 at 12:17 PM harvey Says:

who is putting this garbage out?

4

 Nov 01, 2010 at 12:23 PM 1LofaRide Says:

Why are the palistinians any different? when the Israeli government expelled all the jews out of gaza, imagine if they would have just left the security to the palistinians. Would any Israeli survive?

5

 Nov 01, 2010 at 12:35 PM oygevault Says:

It is sad nowdays that unless you campaign and operate on a platform of appeasement, you are demonized.

6

 Nov 01, 2010 at 01:24 PM cowfy Says:

where can i get a copy.this is rich and tasty.

7

 Nov 01, 2010 at 03:37 PM Anonymous Says:

The Arabs, and the anti-semites in the USA feared Kahane. He awoke a lot of Jews out of their schtetl mentality, and protected Shuls and other Jewish property, as well as elderly Jews, and Jewish teachers. He was the one who started the ball rolling vis-a-vis the plight of Soviet Jewry. It it wasn't for him, most of the 2,000,000 Soviet Jews who emigrated to EY and the USA from the 1970's through the present, would still be in Russia, Georgia, and the Ukraine.

8

 Nov 01, 2010 at 05:12 PM Anonymous Says:

What a wonderful lesson for children - hatred and intolerance.

9

 Nov 01, 2010 at 08:26 PM Oldtimer Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

What a wonderful lesson for children - hatred and intolerance.

Actually, as one who had the privilege of spending time with "the Reb" you have no idea what you are talking about. Meir Kahane was all about instilling jewish pride and defending jewish honor. His book "Never Again" is a classic.

11

 Nov 01, 2010 at 08:58 PM esther Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Disgusting beyond belief, but what else would be expect from these dreche right wing fanatics who seek to provoke bloodshed and violence among the Palestinians and further marginalize eretz yisroel among the nations of the world. They and their families will be the victims of the violence they seek to provoke and they will have themselves to blame.

for goodness sakes ,don't believe everything you read.the national must be an uber leftists publication.

12

 Nov 01, 2010 at 09:13 PM stamazoy Says:

yes the kach movement has moved to the left after kahane's assassination, and yes they are intolerant and extremist, but it doesn't deny the fact that the man had some very important (albeit dangerous and controversial) ideas

13

 Nov 02, 2010 at 01:24 PM Anonymous Says:

the pictures here don't look like Rabbi Kahane's actual ideas - he was not as extreme as his so-called students - he often said "I don't hate Arabs, I love Jews. I wish the Arabs well".

14

 Nov 07, 2010 at 07:18 AM phs5720 Says:

Meir Kahane was my Rebbe. He did not teach hatred and intolerance but self respect. His ideas should be taught to the youth of today. Look at all he accomplished and how he changed Jewish history. On a shoestring budget.

15

 Dec 14, 2010 at 06:44 PM TzViBenRoshel Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Disgusting beyond belief, but what else would be expect from these dreche right wing fanatics who seek to provoke bloodshed and violence among the Palestinians and further marginalize eretz yisroel among the nations of the world. They and their families will be the victims of the violence they seek to provoke and they will have themselves to blame.

"Disgusting beyond belief"- What is your belief? The koran? Or perhaps "turning the other cheek"? Rav Kahane was a true Tzadik and Gadol. He stoke the truth, wasn't afraid and ultimatly sacrificed his life for the Jewish nation.
It is your attitude that produced "violence and bloodshed" against the Jewish people. People see that your weak and they want to hurt you even more. The terrorist attacks started after Oslo (when Jews wanted to surrended). Look at what happened to Jews in the Galut and especially in Europe. Only Jewish strength and the Torah of Eretz Yisrael produces safety, security and a Future for our people! Kahane Tzadik!

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