Rabbi Meir Kahane
Rabbi Meir David Kahane was born on August 1, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York to a famous Orthodox Jewish family. His father, was a close friends of the famous Zionist Zeev Jabotinsky who was to later influencial Rabbi Meir Kahane. As a teenager Kahane joined Betar, Betar is a revisionist Zionist youth movement founded by Jabotinsky. As a member of Betar, Kahane personally led protests against Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary who opposed the creation is Israel.
Following the Holocaust, Kahane coined the phrase "Never Again". This means, never again will Jews stand by watch their brothers be murdered.
In 1960, Kahane became a Rabbi from the world famous Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NY and then he earned a degree in internation law at New York University. During the mid-60's, Kahane worked as a teacher and was one of the editors of the Jewish Press, which was the biggest English speaking Jewish newspaper in the world.
In 1968, Kahane created the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in America and the Kach party in Israel. The JDL's objectives were to protect Jews and their property from anti-Semitism. Much of the JDL's history was during the early 70's was famous for its activities on the behalf of freeing Soviet Jewry from Russia.
In 1973, 2 years after Kahane arrived in Israel he began campaigning for a seat in the Knesset. In 1984, Kahane finally won a seat in the Knesset. It was later estimated that b 1988, Rabbi Kahane would win another 12 seats. In 1985, the Basic Laws of Israel were amended so that the Kach party could be declared racist (to understand why please read the Kahanism article).
In 1990, after concluding a speech in a Manhattan, New York hotel, Kahane was killed by El Sayyid Nosair. Nosair was acquitted of murder because no witness had actually seen him pull the trigger but he was convicted of gun possession charges. Nosair later stood trial as a co-conspirator of Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Both men received life sentences for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, conspiracy to use explosives against New York landmarks, and plotting to assassinate US politicians. Nosair received life plus 15 years of imprisonment. Since it was ruled that Kahane's murder was part of the "seditious conspiracy," Nosair was later convicted of killing Kahane.
Following Kahane's death, no charismatic leader emerged to replace him and Kahane's radical ideology declined in popularity among Israelis. However, two small Kahanist factions later emerged; one under the name of "Kach" and the other "Kahane Chai" which is Hebrew for "Kahane lives on". In late 2000, as the Al-Aqsa Intifada began, Kahane supporters spray painted graffiti on hundreds of bus shelters and bridges all across Israel. The message on each target was identical, simply reading: "Kahane Was Right".
On December 31, 2000, Meir Kahane's son, Kahane Chai leader Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and his wife Talya were shot and killed in their van as they were driving with their children from Jerusalem to their home in the Israeli settlement of Kfar Tapuach. Their van was riddled with more than 60 shots from automatic weapons. The attackers were allegedly Palestinian militants.