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The Fern Sidman Commentaries:
September 28th, 2006: "IS IT TOO LATE?"

In 1979, Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L, wrote a book entitled, “They Must Go”. This book generated an enormous amount of controversy as it spoke of the concept of transferring the Arab population of Israel to any of the 22 Arab countries in the Middle East. The essential premise of this book, as had been expressed by Rabbi Kahane for a number of years prior to the book’s publication, was the preservation of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.


Rabbi Kahane, in his tremendous foresight and wisdom saw a demographic time bomb ticking away in Israel. As the Arab birthrate skyrocketed and the Jewish birthrate plummeted, Rabbi Kahane predicted that in a matter of decades, the Arabs would be a majority in Jewish State. He also posited that in a democracy the majority rules, and as such this could portend the very real scenario of the Arab population quietly and democratically voting Israel out of existence. The main question put forth to readers in this remarkable and groundbreaking treatise was the clear choice that was before us. Either we choose a western democracy or a Jewish State. It was clear that both could not co-exist. Rabbi Kahane sounded a clarion call to Jews to wake up and act now, before the proverbial knife was at our collective throats.

As we know, the ceaseless tirade of condemnations, denunciations and diatribes that followed the book’s publication consisted of nothing less than an organized attempt to quash and eradicate this idea and to lambaste and excoriate Rabbi Kahane for promulgating such views. The abject fear that was felt by this message was not limited to the Jewish world, however the greatest resistance to this idea and the subsequent hostilities emanated from the global Jewish community. In the religious or Orthodox Jewish world, Rabbi Kahane was branded as a purveyor of anti-Torah thoughts, an upstart that could endanger world Jewry. In the secular, liberal, left wing bastions of the Jewish world, he was labeled as a rabid racist, a horrific and dangerous fascist, a xenophobe of mammoth proportions.

Rabbi Kahane and his message quickly became a pariah in the Jewish world, and actions were successfully taken to ban him and his message. The concept of free speech that was so warmly embraced by Jews, apparently did not apply to Rabbi Kahane. The same Jews who boasted of being proud, card-carrying members of the American Civil Liberties Union, and who fought for the rights of free speech for every Jew hater under the sun, suddenly found themselves in a hypocritical dilemma. While they could not deny Rabbi Kahane his right of free speech, they could organize a concerted effort to marginalize and isolate him from any manner of intelligent and scholarly discourse on this idea. It had become increasingly clear that the world would live up to the old adage "shoot the messenger, if you don’t like the message".

And now in the year 2006, as the free world stands on the brink of domination by Islamic forces, we have witnessed grandiose and heinous forms of terrorism spawned by hate filled Arab and Islamic teachings. We have witnessed the rise of Hamas to power and the resurgence of the might of Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah terrorists. We have witnessed thousands of Jewish lives being impacted by the plethora of Arab suicide bombers in Israel, known as "Shahids", martyrs for Palestine.

We have witnessed the forced expulsion of Jews from their homes in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria, only to see this G-d given Jewish land being used as staging areas for rocket attacks on Jewish settlements in Israel proper by Arab terrorists. We have witnessed the kidnapping of Jewish soldiers and the defeat and humiliation of the once "invincible" Israeli army, as the ineptitude of the government of Israel reaches dangerous levels. We are plagued with vapid, empty and abysmally ignorant Israeli leaders who spend their time concocting further plans to hand over Israeli territory to the Arab enemy, as calls for their resignation resound throughout the country.

At this critical juncture in the future of the Jewish nation and the State of Israel, we now hear sounds of Rabbi Kahane’s message being spoken not only by his supporters but by certain Israeli leaders. According to a recent news report, "MK Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP) has repeated his call for the State of Israel to consider the transfer of hostile Arabs from Judea and Samaria. Speaking with Army Radio’s Razi Barkai Wednesday morning, Eitam was asked to explain his terming Israeli Arabs a 'fifth column' and his call for Israel to encourage the transfer of PA Arabs from Judea and Samaria. 'Look, in the wake of this war, the people of Israel need to begin to say the truth,' Eitam said. 'The deceptive myths must end. The myth that we can abandon territory without it becoming a launching ground for attacks on us and the myth that this struggle is over the outcome of the [1967] Six Day War.'"

"The days of viewing our territory as a checkbook - through which we can buy off the rejection of our existence here - have ended. We therefore must be honest with ourselves - if we can’t give the land away and we can’t keep the land with this hostile nation upon it - we must encourage them to emigrate."

Eitam said he was coming from a recent trip to the United States, where he discussed his ideas with Attorney General John Ashcroft. Eitam said Ashcroft was very receptive to the ideas, due to the lessons of September 11th. "The assertion that the world will not allow transfer to occur is another deception," Eitam said. After the Eitam interview concluded, Barkai brought former Meretz chairman Yossi Sarid on the air, and asked him whether he did not share Eitam’s concern for the future of the Jewish state. Sarid said that he was not sure what scared him more, the threats facing Israel or Eitam’s world view. Sarid compared Eitam’s statements to those of Neo-Nazi and fascist politicians in Europe. "If they would say those things we would object, so we must object when Eitam says them," Sarid posited.

It is apparent that not much has changed since Rabbi Kahane spoke of these ideas so long ago. While MK Eitam should be commended for seeing the truth and having the courage to give voice to it, one wonders if this is too little, too late. While MK Sarid still echoes the same condemnations that he did years ago when Rabbi Kahane espoused this idea, one wonders if the Bolshevik left wing in Israel is still mired in anachronistic ideology while remaining blind to the threats that loom over the future of Israel.

Rabbi Kahane’s views are ideas that should have been supported and implemented decades ago. Those who now give credence and validity to these ideas either initially denounced them with the same fervor normally reserved for leftists or remained silent and apathetic to the crucial message embedded in these ideas.

Let us take this time to review the ideas and words of Rabbi Kahane. "Of course, the ultimate threat is that of the Arabs quietly achieving national majority, which will allow them to take control of the Knesset and legally abolish the Jewish state. The population figures are all in their favor". (They Must Go, 1981, p. 113)

"Long before the arrival of an Arab majority in Israel, there will be prior demands - all gaining force through the annual, immutable growth of Arab population: demands for greater political power and representation in Knesset and cabinet; demands for 'autonomy' in the Galilee and Triangle; demands for the annexation of those areas to any 'Palestine' state that might arise; demands for the return of the 'Palestinian' refugees to their homes and property in Israel".(They Must Go, 1981, p. 115)

"The Muslims are bitterly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. They combine fervent anti-Zionist nationalism with the even more fervent Islamic creed. That the Arab youth of Israel are undergoing an Islamic revival is admitted by one and all". (Israel: Revolution or Referendum?, 1990, p. 47)

The words spoken by MK Eitam are the words of a frightened person. A person, who justifiably has the right to be frightened by an ever-increasing hostile and violent Arab population. In essence, MK Eitam is saying that Rabbi Kahane’s views are now resonating for a vast majority of Jews.

In these final days before Yom Kippur, when the Almighty will render His verdict on the Jewish people, both individually and collectively, let us raise our voices in prayer to the G-d of Israel, who is our King, Helper, Savior and Shield. Let us resolve to have the courage to speak the Torah truth without fearing the opinions of the world. Let us embark on a course of true repentance, prayer and charity, as these measures are necessary in order to tip the balance of the scales of justice in our favor. Our future is hanging in the balance.

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