Thank you for having me. Thank you, Mohamed for that warm introduction. It’s great to be back here, it’s my third time here. I wish I didn’t have to come here again and again to tell you these things, but unfortunately, too few people are doing it, so it requires me to come back and keep you informed of what’s going on.
So, today, we are going to be speaking about the movement of Meir Kahane and his legacy. First, to give you a schema with which to understand Jewish political thought so that we can understand the community from whence the Kahane movement sprang, and how it changed the Jewish community.
So, for those people who do come from a Jewish background, you may be familiar with these images and these tropes. This is from the Passover Haggadah that we read at the Passover Seder. We have a tradition where we say there is four types of Jews, and so, I’ve appropriated this – or re-appropriated, and I’m saying that this actually isn’t just a part of our tradition, it’s part of the here and now.
That there are actually four camps in the Jewish community, four political camps I say: Reformist, Opportunist, Supremacist and Humanist. And, I’ll explain what I mean by that. To understand each of these four camps’ positions we just ask how they relate to the Jewish traditional texts, to the Torah, the Talmud.
And so, we ask, “Is the Torah holy?” And we ask, “Is the Torah just?” Alright, and based on these answers, that’s how these four camps break down.
So, first of all, you know entering the modern era, essentially the Jewish community is comprised of the Supremacist camp, or traditional orthodox Judaism, and they answer yes to both of these questions. They say, “Yes, the Torah is holy, written by God and passed down to, etc etc… And yes, it is just. When the Torah says that the Jewish people are chosen by God and so, God is the real-estate agent that bequeaths this sliver of territory to the Jewish people, his chosen people – that is just.”
Then in the mid-nineteenth century, we have, you know, Jewish people finally being able to just be citizens of the states that they live in. And so, we have an explosion of, and in different political directions. And of these movements at that time is the Reformist movement to emerge, and the reformist movement, they answered differently. They say, “Yes, the Torah is holy. But no, it’s not just. It’s not correct the way it is, it’s not ethical, it’s not moral. We need to adjust it and amend it and tinker it.” And this is reformed Judaism, the Reformist camp.
Then we have the Opportunist camp. What I call them is the classic Zionist position where they say the opposite. They say, “No, the Torah is not holy. Of course not, it was written by people, and edited by different people, and different periods of time. And these are just, you know, it’s part of our literary tradition but it’s not the word of any god. But yes, it is just when the Torah says to give the Jewish people the land of Israel.” So, in other words, no, there’s no God, but yes, God gave us the land. And so, that’s the opportunist camp.
And then, we have also, the Humanist camp, the Jewish socialist movement. And they answer: “No to both of these questions. No, the Torah is not holy, it’s just written by people, it’s literature. And no, it’s not just when it says Jews are the owners of this land etc, etc…”
So, these are the four camps, in my mind, of Jewish political thought. Now some of you may already get your backs up and say, “Come on, David. It’s so obvious when you use these terms that you’re inflecting your own bias in here. You know, Humanist, Supremacist, you expect me to take this at face value?”
Okay, legitimate. But what I would argue here is that, in fact, even if you were from a different political camp, you would still see the same four camps. You would still recognize the schema that I’ve illustrated here.
So, let’s say you’re from the Reformist camp. You’d say, “Ah”, you would see yourself in the best possible terms. “We are the stable ones, you know. We provide stability to the community. The Zionists, they’re hawkish, and they’re religious, they’re old school. And they’re socialists, they’re too far left.” So, too, if you were a Zionist, you would say, “Oh, we are the heroic ones, you know. But the Reformists, they’re spineless and they’re religious. They’re useful, they help us advance our goal of acquiring more land. And of course, the leftists, they’re traitors.”
And if you were from the Religious camp [you’d say], “Oh those Reformists. The Zionists are helpful, they help us build the tourist state we want to see.”
In any case, the same four camp schema still exists regardless of where you position yourself politically. So, I would argue how we could possibly understand the Jewish community, and this is a building block that helps us delve deeper and analyze those political movements.
Of course, I could use terms with no valence to them: liberal, nationalist, religious, and socialist. But of course, it doesn’t make a fancy acronym that’s easy to remember. So, we’re just going to go with—I’m the one making the presentation, of course—so I’m just going to use “ROSH,” which is the Hebrew word for head. And that’s the acronym that helps me remember the four camps – Reformist, Opportunist, Supremacist, Humanist.
So, these are the four camps in the Jewish community, and now we’re talking about Meir Kahane. And Kahane essentially, on one hand, he grew up the son of a rabbi in New York city. So, he grew up firmly in the Religious camp, but at the same time, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the leader of revisionist Zionism, whenever he would come to New York City to speak, then he would stay at home with the Kahanists. So, he actually was influenced by both of these camps: both the Religious and the Nationalist camp. He both studied in Yeshiva, studied Talmud, and then also, would get arrested at Zionist protests in New York City. In this case, protesting the rival of British foreign minister and against his policies in Palestine.
So, in any case, he, I would argue, fuses two schools of thought, and in a way, creates a bastard version of them that’s worse than each of them. Because okay, both of them are right-wing ideologies and nationalists and they’re religious, but they each have their own safety valves that prevent it from going full on…
For example, the Nationalist camp, they have the agenda of, you know, acquiring more and more land and territory and dispossession. But they’re still secular for the most part. So, you can talk to them, you can have a conversation with them on the basis of logic. That’s their safety valve.
On the other hand, the Religious – the ultra-orthodox – their vision for the land of Israel is a totalitarian one. They envision a complete theocracy. There’s no room for Jews there. But at the same time, they have their own safety valve in that traditionally the ultra-orthodox have been passivists. They don’t actively try to bring the Torah state they want into existence. They say, “Oh no, it’s ‘min Allah’- it’s from God, you know. God will come down and bring this into being and we’re not going to take an active role in that.”
So, each of these communities – the right-wing – they had their safety valves. But when Kahane fuses the two, what he creates from it doesn’t have any of those safety valves. It’s just pure extremism.
Now of course, as I said, the Jewish community is comprised of not just right-wing camps, but left-wing camps as well. And, probably this is what the community looks like in the United States prior to the advent of Kahanism – a bell graph. But once we have the introduction of this new, this fifth camp, the Monarchists or Messianic camp that Kahane introduces, he shifts the window over.
And so, now, the center of the Jewish community is firmly in the Zionist camp. So, this is the long-term effect of Kahanism on the US. But of course, once Kahane moves to Israel, he’s dealing with a whole different population set. And is Israel, of course, the largest by far camp is the nationalist camp, right? Of course, Israel is the Nationalist project, and so, most of the Jews who move there or live there are the nationalist vein.
So, this is what he’s starting with. So, once he gets there, of course, he’s working on fertile ground. People already adopting right-wing ideologies, and this is what it looks like consistently, year after year. You can see 120 seats in there dominated by the Nationalist camp and the second largest camp is the Religious camp.
So, year after year, election after election, the same results. Of course, the parties’ fortunes rise and fall, but if we look at them by camp, group them into camps, we see that consistently it’s the Opportunist camp that rules the country, and in the shotgun position is the Supremacist camp.
So, Kahane comes on the scene. Just very, very briefly to explain his legacy, I will just read you quotes from the laws–bills rather, that he introduced into the set, into the table there. So, Kahane, you know, starts putting out these posters, and of course I’ll translate from Hebrew for your benefit. “Jewesses, don’t date Arabs or other gentiles!” And here’s the language of the bill that he submitted:“Jews and Jewesses are forbidden to marry non-Jews, whether in Israel or abroad. Partners in mixed marriages which has been already been performed will be compelled to separate immediately. Jews and Jewesses are forbidden to have full or partial relations of any sort with non-Jews. The transgressor of this section shall be punished with two year’s imprisonment. A non-Jew who seduces a Jew to have sexual relations shall be punished with three year’s imprisonment. The claim that the non-Jew did not know that this partner was a Jew does not exempt him from punishment. The Education Ministry will prepare curriculum for primary & secondary schools against intermarriage.”
So, we can see, on full display, his ideology of separation, racial separation. But of course, that’s not sufficient. So, clearly Kahane is about separation, racial separation. But it’s not only racial separation he wants. He then goes on to explain his vision for Jews and non-Jews in his manifesto, one of the dozens of books he wrote, They Must Go. Doesn’t leave a lot for subtly here, pretty straight up about what he wants to see. And of course, in the bill that he submits to the Knesset he describes in full his vision: “Only a member of the Jewish People may be a citizen of the state of Israel.”
In other words, strip non-Jews of their citizenship: “The National Insurance institute only Jews will be able to benefit from its payments. There will be a commission established to investigate the various religions to determine which of them are idol worship. A non-Jew who wishes to dwell in the land of Israel will have to assume the status of resident alien.”
What does this mean?
“The government shall determine the maximal number of resident aliens who may be settled in the land of Israel.” So, first of all, we’re only going to allow few of you to stick around, and let’s see if you make the cut: “A resident alien may not live within the municipal boundaries of the city of Jerusalem.” So, ethnically cleanse the capital city altogether.
“A resident Alien may not be appointed to any position of authority and will not be able to vote.” So, total disenfranchisement.
“Every resident alien will also assume the obligations of taxes and slavery as defined by Jewish law. And a commission shall determine the compensation to each non-Jew who prefers to voluntarily leave Israel.”
So, we see the real goal here is to make their lives so bad, that they inevitably just give up and say “Fine, it’s so harsh here. I’ll leave my homeland and just immigrate.”
And of course, “Any violation by resident alien by any one of his obligations,” like slavery, “will bring immediate expulsion from Israel.”
So, this is Kahane’s legislative legacy. Of course, that’s in the parliament itself. Once he’s on the street, you know, preaching to his followers and riling up people who come up to his street rallies, then it’s straight up: “I want to remove the Arabs from Israel because I do not want to kill them every week. When I’m prime minister no Arab will be hurt by Jewish terrorism because there won’t be an Arab left in Israel. They’ll bow to me, lick my feet & I’ll be merciful and allow them to leave. Whoever does not leave will be slaughtered.”
Okay, so, this is the aspiring genocide of Meir Kahane and his legacy. At this point, and we’re talking mid-80s, you know even by the ruling Likud standards, even by the right-wing standards this is off the charts racist beyond the pale.
So, we have Michael Eitan, the lawmaker for the ruling Likud party at that time coming up on the Knesset floor saying: “This man’s ideas are Judeo-Nazism.” And he made a point by point comparison saying this is what Kahane is proposing, these are the Nuremberg laws. Point by point. Kahane proposed this, the Nuremberg laws say that. Kahane wants this to happen, this is what the Nuremberg laws did. Point by point, showing they’re parallel.
So, at this point, when even the government of Israel is calling Kahane a Nazi– at this point the supreme court approves this message and says, “You’re right, someone who’s this racist should be ineligible to run for parliament in our country.” And So, they made him ineligible to run. They ruled out his candidacy – this is in 1988 running up to those elections. That’s ‘88.
But now here we are, thirty years later, and that same supreme court has now sanctioned the Kahanist party, has now given them a seal of approval, kosher stamp. And now the Jewish power party, which is the party of the successors of Meir Kahane, they have run for Israeli elections. They’re back in the race. And of course, whether they get in or not is another story. There’s all kinds of factors to consider. But as the heading party Itamar Ben Gvir says: “It could be that we will be in the Knesset, or that we won’t be in the Knesset, that’s one question. But when we move the whole system to the right, it’s not just one MK… It’s the whole government that moves.”
This is how we have to understand their influence. Also, it’s not even whether they get in or not get in, they’re already in. Because their local Tel Aviv affiliate who they’ve been cultivating, grooming for years, May Golan, who’s led racist rallies on the streets of Tel Aviv to ethnically cleanse the country of African refugees for the last decade, staunch Kahane, speaking at Kahane’s memorial ceremonies, she has now been recruited by Netanyahu himself. Top-round draft, first round draft pick. May Golan, Netanyahu made her a member of Knesset for the ruling Likud party.
So, we have Kahanists in the Knesset for the ruling Likud itself. This is the marriage of Likud and Kahane. This is how far gone we are. Thirty years later, they’re in. This is why I say that we’re in Messiah mode. But sure, that’s an indictment of the amount of impunity that Kahanists enjoy today in Israel.
But I’d say perhaps the biggest example of how much power and impunity this movement has and has had for decades is evidenced by the story of this man. This is a screenshot from Israeli National Television, Kan, just a few months ago. And in this documentary, this man was featured there. This is Baruch Ben Yosef, and he was Kahane’s right-hand man, and is labeled as such in the video attributed to him. And he talks about his early years in the movement. I’m going to run you through his history to understand the impunity that he’s earned in Israel. So, he talks: “I was about 12-13 years old, I started going through the training. Karate training, firearms training…”
This is what I believe he looked like then, already showing up with Kahane at his street rallies in New York City. And then, he immigrated to Israel straight out of high school. Takes on the name Baruch. At this point, it’s the beginning of this whole settlement movement, 1970. Israel just conquered the West Bank and other territories in 1967.
Now 1966, we see the first Jewish settlements in the West Bank – the settlement of Kedumim. And he is in the first group of settlers. He’s literally one of the pioneers, the first people to arrive there when there’s nothing. And soon afterwards he actually leaves the settlements. He said: “Oh, it had a leftist leaning to it, it wasn’t right enough for me.” And then he joins the army. And in the army, he serves in the commando unit called Sayeret Shaked. Defunct, but at that time was a more important commando unit in the Israeli army. And now he takes on a Hebrew last name as well. He’s now reinvented himself as Baruch Ben Yosef.
Baruch Ben Yosef out of the army, he moves down to Hebron, which is the hotbed of Kahanism settlement – built outside the city of Hebron, the largest population center in the West bank. And he’s part of the Kahanist movement that’s taking over buildings in downtown Hebron and dispossessing Palestinians. They’re really at the end guard of the settlement movement.
Now, when he was interviewed about these activities of dispossessing Palestinians in Hebron by a Village Voice reporter, he said: “Well, Irgun leader David Raziel planted a bomb in an Arab market in 1939 killing 15 or 20 Arabs, and do you know how many streets are named after Raziel in Israel? If it was alright for him, how come it’s not alright for us?” [to terrorize Palestinians].
And of course, he was right. I mean, you know newspapers at that time did record that that bomb did occur and did kill 15-20 Palestinians. And the man responsible, David Raziel, he actually is honored in Israel. There’s a stamp of him, there are streets named after him, more than one in different locations, there’s a whole school named after him, there’s a whole settlement named after him. I mean, he was honored in death, and decades later, he’s still being honored in Israel.
So, yes, Israel does honor its terrorists. And he has a point, I have to admit. Of course, you know at that time in the 80s, early 80s, it was a time when many followers of Kahane made their mark on the temple mount, Haram Al Sharif, and marked it as a target in efforts to, in their own words, “להוציא את הזרים מהר הבית,” to remove the foreigners from the Temple Mount! That was, of course, foreigners meaning the indigenous Palestinians.
Now this is the kicker. You see, when the right wing is in power, the Kahanists don’t really need to advance their agenda. The government is doing it for them. But when the center-right, or slightly to the left of Likud that’s in power, in this case… Or rather let me just say that when they use efforts to make peace, in this case it was efforts by the Likud itself. When there are efforts to create peace on the ground between Israel and its neighbors and Israelis and Palestinians, in this case, President Carter bridging together Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt.
Late 70s at this point, that’s when the Kahanists strike because they realize that if they’re going to stop this peace from occurring, they will need to actually ignite war. How do they do that? According to Carmi Gillon, formerly the head of the Shabak, the Shin Bet, that’s Israel’s FBI, he says about Baruch Ben Yosef: “Kahane planned with Baruch Ben Yosef to shoot a M72LAW rocket at the Dome of the Rock. He hoped that in the wake of that all the Muslim states would launch a war against Israel – the war of Gog and Magog.”
So, this is their target. They tried, they planned to blow it up, they plotted to blow it up. And of course, Kahane and Ben Yosef were not the only ones to try to do so. There were other Kahanists who attempted in the early 80s. There was Alan Goodman. He actually made it in with an army rifle and he killed two Palestinians and injured a dozen more. Then there’s Yoel Learner, another American-born Kahanist. He plotted three times to take over the Temple Mount and turn The Dome of the Rock to a Jewish settlement. And then of course, there’s Yisrael Ariel, the chief rabbi of the modern-day Templar movement. And Kahane was always pushing for takeover of the Temple Mount, but at this point, he actually manages to make it into the Knesset in 1984, after many years of campaigning.
And so, now that he’s firmly based in Israel, he sends his right-hand man, Baruch Ben Yosef back to America to take care of U.S operations for the Jewish defense league. And that’s when Alex Odeh is assassinated, in 1985.
Now, very briefly about his story to understand who this man was. So, Alex Odeh, he was born in a village north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. But at that time, there were no universities accredited in the West Bank, So, he did his B.A. in Cairo and then from there on he moved to America and did his Masters in California.
And soon afterwards, he was recruited by the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee. And at that time, of course, he was one of the first recruits there. And his job was essentially to change the image of Arabs and Arab-Americans in the minds of American citizens.
You know at that time, just like today, there was a lot of anti-Arab racism. And the understanding of Arab people, you know, tropes about them were generally negative. Whether it was in art, or whether it was in cartoons or Hollywood movies. And so, he had his work cut out for him. He tried to change the image of the Arab in the American mind. But, they also, the ADC and Alex Odeh, they also, represented the beginnings of Arab-American political organization. Efforts for the first time, really, in American history, to put out political demands and to work towards those.
And so, the ADC starts taking out full page ads in major American newspapers like The Washington Post, saying, “We shouldn’t be spending billions of dollars and sending it off to Israel. We should be spending that money here at home, investing in our youth and in our citizens.”
So, at this point, this ticks off the Jewish Defense League to no end because they are now, for the first time, challenging the dominance of the Zionist narrative that’s in Capitol Hill. Up until now, the Zionist narrative on Israel and Palestine held sway without, or nearly without, contest. Then, now, there are those who are challenging that narrative.
And so, Alex Odeh, he first starts getting regular telephone calls harassing him, prank calls threatening him, people identifying themselves as Jewish Defense League leaders… And I found this phone number in their own records.
But then they take it to the next level, and on October 11th, actually that very evening, Alex Odeh was supposed to speak at a synagogue because he was doing what we would call the intersectional work before they even had a name for it. But before he could get there, he walked into his office, and a bomb exploded and took his life.
Of course, the place was totaled, and it was horrific for his family, for his community. But to the JDL, the leader of the JDL at the time, Irv Rubin, said: “He got exactly what he deserved.” That was his comment.
Okay… But in the years that followed, the reporting by investigating journalist Robert Friedman, writing in the Village Voice and writing at the L.A. Times, and then later, writing a biography of Kahane, The False Prophet, he details how Odeh was assassinated.
Talking about, there was Robert Manning, in addition to Ben Yosef, there was Robert Manning and Keith Fuchs. The two of them joined him. And the three of them together with Baruch Ben Yosef, allegedly, according to all the FBI sources that I have spoken to – both former and current agents in charge of the operation of the investigation into Alex Odeh’s death – these were the three men.
Now, as I said, starting already in the late 80s. There’s reporting naming them, quote, saying that Manning and Fuchs and Ben Yosef were “mentioned as the bombers while still in front of the bombed-out building” – [says a] California Police official on the scene.
So, of course, we’re talking about ultra-violence against Palestinians and so-called enemies of the Jewish people from the JDL’s perspective. But the truth is, is that they would also, regularly attack Jews that didn’t agree with them. You know?
This is them attacking a left-wing group in the U.S. and in the 70s. It’s a group called Breira, one of the first Jewish groups to call for a two-state solution. And so, they would assault them at their meetings.
And of course, there were other instances of attacks on Jews and Jewish Groups. Here, you may recall that in that time and in the 1970s, there was an effort to isolate the Soviet Union. There was a cold war and Kahane himself had labeled the Soviet Union as an enemy. Why? Because they did not allow Jews to emigrate.
It’s too long of a story to get into in any detail, but the point is that they targeted Soviet institutions. They wanted everyone to BDS them- to boycott, divest from and sanction them. And then if anyone broke, crossed the picket line, then they would be targeted also, for ultraviolence.
So, because Sol Hurok, who was an impresario–a Jewish impresario in fact, at that time, who made great efforts to bring Russian cultural productions to the United States (the Bolshoi Ballet), and when he finally managed to do so, because of his efforts to do so, one day he’s in his office and boom – explosion. JDL targets them and explodes the place. Sol Hurok comes – of course the place was gutted and Hurok himself was injured, but there was also fatality, one of his secretaries was killed. This woman, Iris Kones, and it could’ve been anyone, but it turns out she herself was Jewish.
So, the JDL has Jewish blood on their hand. But in addition to this, why I’m telling you all this story, this aside, this tangent about, these Jewish targets of the JDL, is because years later, the Israeli government is determining its extradition policy. It’s writing its laws about who may or may not be extradited to other countries if they’re, in fact, charged with crimes.
And in the law itself, in the Knesset discussion – and of course, all this is available from the Israeli Knesset website, So, here in 1978 they’re discussing the law. And the head of the Constitution Committee at that time, David Glass, member of Knesset, he explains the reason for the language in the clauses of the law. And he actually says, “Recall the case of Zeller, whose extradition was requested by the U.S. over the accusation of murder.” Jerome Zeller, one of the murderers of Iris Konis, who bombed Sol Hurok’s office and killed his Jewish secretary – yes, the U.S. did request his extradition: “Do you think that Zeller would have received a just trial? Thou shalt not deliver unto his master a slave that is escaped.” He quotes from the Bible.
So, what does this mean? That the murderer, that JDL murderer is the slave that has escaped his master. So, even though he has murdered, even though a Jewish woman, we will not send him back to be tried for murder. We don’t trust the goyim to prosecute him.
And so, in this way, Israeli lawmakers openly, admittedly, bare-facedly changed their extradition laws to protect murderers, political murderers, even murderers of Jewish people. So, if they protected the murderer of Iris Konis, do you really think that they’re going to allow the murderer of Alex Odeh to be extradited back to the US, all this to say?
I mean at that time, talking about the Zeller case, Kenneth Walton, the office in charge, special agent in charge of the FBI, said: “We did our job… but what can we do if the state department does not want to extradite?”
So, really, some additional questions need to be asked of state what their role in all of this is. But in any case, back to Baruch Ben Yosef, because now he’s fled back to Israel after the murder. And what has he been up to all these years?
You know, if you read the American reportage, it would seem that this guy has just disappeared. He’s named as the alleged assassin, but he is believed to have fled to Israel? No one knows what happened to him. Wow.
Well, we’re going to find out what happened to him. It’s actually not that difficult to tell. I was able to do so, from behind the keyboard.
So, here he is in 1992, so, seven years after the murder. And he’s speaking to a group of like-minded individuals at a conference. He says, first of all, at that time, he’s quoted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an article, saying that, “He admitted that he is wanted by the FBI in the US for his involvement in the militant JDL during the 1970s & 1980s.”
So, then at that conference, at that time, he goes on to say: “I’ve been very involved with the anti-extradition program.” Like he’s openly flaunting it. Imagine the impunity, he’s not even embarrassed to talk about it. What anti-extradition program? “We’ve been trying to fight the extradition of Manning”
Right? Because I said there were three murderers allegedly, and so, he says: “We succeeded in getting almost every rabbi (of the religious Zionist movement) to sign a letter calling for the cessation of the extradition.”
He’s actually organizing efforts to resist the extradition of his so-called coconspirator to the Odeh murder. Then he goes on to explain his vision for the state of Israel: “Democracy is anti-Jewish, it’s anti-Judaism, it’s anti-Torah. Nowhere in the Torah does it mention anything about a democracy! The only real form of government by the Jewish people is some form of dictatorship. Voiding democracy and any opportunity of the people to decide what kind of government we’ll have”
Of course, as I said, this is the vision of the Kahanist movement to create a Torah state, a theocracy. And so, he, openly espousing it… that’s what he’s doing.
Okay, and so, now at this point, if you can imagine this, he’s not only talking, he’s trying to put his plans into practice. He actually went on and got a law degree in Israel, from an Israeli law school. And then he starts suing, not only defending himself in court and not only defending fellow Kahanists in court, but also, suing the government, suing different ministers demanding more right, trying to increase Jewish rights at the expense of Palestinian rights. To dispossess them on the Temple Mount.
And, he sues the Minister of Religious Affairs. He sues Minister of the Interior. He sues the Minister of Defense. He sues two Ministers of Police. He sues three Ministers of Justice. He sues four Israeli prime ministers.
Where is he? None one knows where he is. He is in court, suing the government. The government doesn’t know where he is? No idea?
Alright, and once again, I said every time the Israeli government veers off its path and starts to make and starts to create efforts towards creating some sort of fragile peace with Palestinians or other Arab states, and that’s when the far right, again, attacks. And so, when Clinton hosted Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House, and they sealed what they called the Oslo Accord, that’s when Baruch Ben Yosef comes back into action.
He’s quoted in the L.A. Times: “They will run like dogs when the time comes. And we’d like to take revenge too. Revenge is a Godly idea.” Imagine this, he’s being quoted openly in US publications. And of course, that revenge was carried out, so-called revenge.
Here’s Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs or the Ibrahimi Mosque. It’s holy to both Jews and Muslims. And a Kahanist walked in on the Friday of Ramadan in 1994 and he murdered, gunned down, 29 Palestinian men, boys in prayer, and over a hundred wounded in this vicious attack.
And the man who did it, who carried it out, was Baruch Goldstein, another American-born Kahanist who ran for Knesset on Kahane’s party. He was an open out and out Kahanist. This is the amount of influence that Kahanists have on Israeli history.
Now at that point, in 1994, after this vicious massacre, even the Israeli government has no choice but to acknowledge that they are a terrorist group through and through. And so, it declares it, it designates Kahane’s political party as officially terrorist group and rounds up all the leadership, the top leadership of the Kahanist parties.
So, rounds them into jail… Now, such a step was not popular with everyone, right? So, here, the ruling Likud party’s Limor Livnat, member of Knesset, she goes into Knesset and she demands an explanation from the government: “How dare you do this? You’re putting Jews in administrative detention? You put Baruch Ben Yosef behind bars? How can you do this? This is undemocratic. You’re not even – where’s the habeas corpus?”
Of course, this is used against Palestinians left, right, and center. Palestinians are always, on the regular, being accused of terrorism and no evidence is being offered. They just are thrown into the cell for six months at a time and no one’s the wiser. But it’s only against Palestinians. So, in the super rare circumstance that they use it against Jewish terrorists, now the right wing is enraged. How dare you do this undemocratic step?
Well, the Israeli police minister at the time responds to her in the Knesset. Of course, it’s all in the Knesset protocol. If you can read Hebrew you can read it as well. And Moshe Shahal says, “Well hold on a second. It was a Likud government that used administrative detention for the first time against Jewish-Israeli citizens. It wasn’t us. It was your party in 1980, against Rabbi Kahane, against rabbi Baruch Ben Yosef Green.”
Of course, here’s the documents so you can see both his names are used. So, what does this mean? It means that this man, the alleged assassin of Alex Odeh, holds the record in Israel. He’s the record holder!
By this definition, he’s the number one Jewish terrorist in the history of the state because he has been in administrative detention more times than any other Jewish-Israeli citizen. Twice, he was sentenced to six months in administrative detention – this is a policy used only for suspected terrorists.
So, where is he? Baruch Ben Yosef, no idea where he might be. He’s in Israeli jail. They know exactly where he is! He’s the number one terrorist in the history of the state by this definition, yet we have no idea where he is? What a farce.
So, this is Baruch Ben Yosef, that one in the same, and of course in response, talking about that mass-murdering Hebron, he said: “Our friend Baruch Goldstein cleaned out the cave of the patriarchs from the garbage there.”
That’s his comment, no shocker. Then, when another Kahanist wrote a book about Baruch Goldstein, the murderer, praising him, then when he was charged for incitement, then of course the lawyer Baruch Ben Yosef defends him in court.
He’s now the top Kahanist lawyer. Now, to understand what effect this mass murder had, you just need only look at pictures of the sooq in Hebron, the marketplace there. This is before the massacre, and this is the exact same location afterwards. You can see it’s now a ghost town. So, they’ve achieved their goal. They’ve ethnically cleansed Palestinians from that part of the city.
Of course, a couple of years later, so that was ‘94 and now we’re going to 1997, December ‘97, Limor Livnat, that same Likud legislator, she has now cut her hair and is now Minister of Communications in the Israeli government. And as such, she comes to the U.S., she comes right here to DC, and while she’s in the country she meets with Jonathan Pollard. Remember him?
So, if you don’t follow, he was a Jewish-American man who worked in US naval intelligence, and then he was charged and convicted of spying on the U.S. for Israel. And from sentence to a long jail sentence, and now Limor Livnat – she’s a champion of the rights of Jewish prisoners we see, and so not only in Israel but also, here in America, now she’s making Pollard out to be a hero.
But when she visits him, she brings him a letter from Netanyahu. And in the letter, he writes to Pollard, saying, “I sincerely hope that our continued efforts on your behalf will bear fruit.”
Now I’m going to put a pin in that Pollard-Netanyahu connection and come back to it in a second, but this is December ‘97. So, three weeks later, in January ‘98, Netanyahu himself comes here. And he’s here for talks at that time, you know, Clinton is in the White House and Netanyahu is in the prime minister’s office in Israel.
And so, he comes here, and he gives a press conference at the national press club in DC, and he’s asked about the assassination of Alex Odeh. And in response, he’s like, “Well, what’re you bugging me about this? We sent you the murderer. If I recall correctly, Robert Manning, we extradited him.”
Now okay, there is some truth in this. Robert Manning is, till this day, sitting in a jail cell in the United States. Israel did extradite him back to the U.S. for murder, but it wasn’t for this murder. It wasn’t for Alex Odeh. It was a different murder altogether, another murder that wasn’t even connected to Kahane movement and far right Jewish politics, it was like a murder for hire. So, it was for another murder that had nothing to do with Alex Odeh. Yes, he is now sitting in jail for that murder. But what about the rest of them? The other two murderers allegedly?
And so, the questioner, Sam Husseini, he asks Netanyahu, he prods him and pokes him and says, “No.” [Husseini] “What about Keith Fuchs and Andy Green? The other two, they’re apparently still at Kiryat Arba.” And “The Justice Department has not received full cooperation at all from the Israeli government on this matter.”
So, what does Netanyahu have to say in response to these charges? And of course, you can watch this till this day on C-SPAN, the video is still up there. You could also, go into the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and read the transcript, it’s all there. Netanyahu’s response is:“I assure you that our policy is to cooperate fully with the murderers.”
Now okay, to be fair, he followed that up with boilerplate assurances that, “No no no no, we treat all people equally – Jews, Arabs, Israelis, Palestinians, and we follow up on all murder cases.”
Okay sure. So, could this be just a slip of the tongue, just mixed up his words? Fair enough, legitimate, we can’t convict the man over just mixing up his words. But, was it or wasn’t it a Freudian slip? Could he have really been meaning something?
And, you know, when trying to come to a decision of whether he meant what he said and said what he meant, one of the factors that we need to take into account is that just ten months after this, so this is January ‘98, in November ‘98, that same Jonathan Pollard is suing Netanyahu. Imagine that? He’s not happy. He maybe got a letter from him but his case hasn’t advanced, he’s still sitting in a US jail, and now he’s suing Netanyahu demanding that he take responsibility for him.
So, Pollard sues Netanyahu in Israeli court. The case goes all the way up to the supreme court. And who’s Pollard’s lawyer? Who does he choose to represent him? Yes, none other than Baruch Ben Yosef, Andy Green, one in the same, alleged assassin of Alex Odeh.
And now, Netanyahu is like, “Oh I have no idea where Andy Green – no idea where Baruch Ben Yosef is. I have no clue where the alleged assassin of…” He’s in court suing you! You’re facing off with him in Israel’s supreme court just ten months later, after you say and deny that you know anything about him. You’re the prime minister of Israel, the Shin Bet reports directly to you. Any of these stories would’ve had to have come to you.
It’s obvious, well it would same on the face of it that Netanyahu knows well what he has done and whose responsible and now he’s covering up for it after the fact. I asked Netanyahu for comment, he did not give me any comments, so we’re still waiting. I’m happy to hear if he’s got some explanation.
So, Baruch Ben Yosef, he’s now so brazen that he is now actually giving quotes to news like, to PBS. PBS film crew comes to Israel, and they’re documenting Israel’s far right and they film him. Speaking openly in his own voice, speaking, calling for more war: “What will bring redemption is war. But today we’re going in exactly the opposite direction. If we can force the army to go back to being offensive, an army of revenge, then we’ll be able to bring the final redemption in the only way possible: through war. War now.”
So, okay, we’re now talking about the mid-2000s. And at that time, Netanyahu is now out of power. He’s been replaced by Ariel Sharon. Now, I don’t need to tell anyone in this room Ariel Sharon by no stretch of the imagination would be considered any leftist.
This was the man who was defense minister during Israel’s invasion. He was the architect of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the early 80s, and responsible for, at least according to the Israeli government and many people would say, share’s no small, had no small role in allowing the massacres of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Many people hold him personally responsible for those tragedies.
So, he’s not considered a leftist by stretch. But twenty-five years later at this point, he’s now prime minister. And the population of Palestinians is swiftly approaching the population, number of Jews, in the country. If you look at all the territories, from the river to the sea, all of Mandate Palestine, there’s almost equal number Jews and Arabs. And he’s worried that soon the Palestinians will outpace the Jews, so he figures, better to just cut off the Gaza Strip: “We lose 1.5 million Palestinians, remove them from the population list. Okay, we lose some square kilometers there, but it’s such a small segment. You know, there’s a couple percentage of the landmass, and here we’ve managed to reduce our roles and increase the Jewish majority.”
So, for these reasons, these demographic reasons, he withdraws Israel’s army and its settlements from the Gaza Strip. Of course, at that time, Baruch Ben Yosef is outraged: “How dare you?” Every time there’s a left or a drift, “How dare we, how dare the government of Israel do this?”
And so, he actually participates in protests: “Hang the traitors! Gaza for the Jews!” This is all filmed. And at that time, Israel’s Police Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, admittedly, he’s a bit worried because, don’t forget, his people have already, far right Israelis have already assassinated the Prime Minister. In fact, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place exactly five years after the day of Kahane’s assassination. So, some people may surmise it was timed, it was a way of trying to complete the circuit, some would say.
In any case, there was a very real threat that far-right Israelis would try to assassinate Sharon for planning the withdrawal from Gaza. And so, when the far right like Ben Yoseft starts saying “Hang the traitors,” the Israeli police minister is worried.
And so, Baruch Ben Yousef is – and he says something about it: “You know we got to watch out for the far right, and make sure the prime minister is protected.” And now this enrages Ben Yosef: “How dare you speak out against the Kahanist movement? How dare you criticize the far right and make us out to be the enemy? What are you thinking?”
Now of course, he gets the Kahane leadership together and they go to protest at Hanegbi’s house in a suburb of Jerusalem. “How dare you speak out against us?”
Now, once they get to his house, Hanegbi just [says]: “Oh hey what’s up guys, how’s it going? Oh mazeltov, I heard you just got engaged. Oh, what are you all doing here?” It turns into a cookout, and they just like sit down and start chilling. “Yo, what’s up.” You know, they’re just relaxing and the reason why, of course, is because Tzachi Hanegbi himself was a Kahanist.
Back in the day, he was also, a follower of Meir Kahane, and just at some point, he realized that it may be better for him to work under the established political channels of the ruling Likud party that he may be more successful. And in fact, he was. He rose to the rank of minister multiple times.
But in any case, when they get outside his house, he’s like: “What are you getting mad at us for? We’re basically your students” telling Hanegbi. “Why are you getting mad, we’re basically your students.” Now of course, this is all recorded in the Israeli newspapers and nothing happens.
Here’s a photograph of them chilling outside his house, and here’s Ben Yosef and Hanegbi. And of course, in the middle of them is Itamar Ben Gvrir, the head of the Kahanist party today. Itamar Ben Gvrir has recently become head of the Kahanist party after he earned his law degree in 2012. And where do you think he did his articling? His “staj,” his apprenticeship? With Ben Yosef. There would be no head of the Kahanist party if there hadn’t been a Ben Yosef to have a law office where he could article.
So, we’re now looking at the second generation. And so, this is the legacy. Now, of course, Netanyahu has welcomed them into the fold, and embraced them, and urged the other right-wing parties to unite with the Kahanists So, that they can ride on his coattails to victory.
Eventually, Sharon did pull out the settlements from the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army from there. And at this point, the Kahanists are enraged. So, Ben Yosef and the other Kahanists leadership, they go to Rosh Pina. There, it’s like the ancient Jewish cemetery there, and they conduct a Kabbalistic curse- or mumbo jumbo mystic ritual in which they call upon, I’ll say it in their own words: “We read the Pulsa Dinura prayer so God will take the murderous dictator who is murdering the Jewish Nation” … talking about the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, calling for his death… “We hope that God will take him from us… we called upon angels of terror.”
So, this is the amount of impunity they have. They openly call for the death of the prime minister. Nothing happens. They’re begging to be arrested! They’re screaming from the hilltops! We want the prime minister to die, how more obvious can you be? Yet in America, no mention of it. Nothing in English.
Okay of course, Ariel Sharon did, a few months later, actually have a stroke. And it incapacitated him for the rest of his life, he died just a couple of years ago. But at that time, once he falls into this stroke, into a coma, what happens?
Baruch Ben Yosef back in the media, saying, “I take full responsibility for what happened. Our Pulsa Dinura Kicked in. His ancestors, Sharon’s ancestors lived until they were over a hundred years old, but we got him with the Pulsa Dinura.”So, openly celebrating the death of the prime minister, taking credit for it… And again, now idea where this guy is, right? Yeah okay, sure, whatever you say.
Baruch Ben Yosef, this is what he looks like today. And speaking about his visions for the country, summarizing his vision saying: “There won’t be courts and there won’t be a Knesset. Only a king, a Sanhedrin, and the Temple calling for establishing a body to burn Christianity and Islam out of the country.”
Open calls for ethnic cleansing. You can go onto YouTube and read what this guy has to say, and here in his own words, he’s not embarrassed to say so openly. That’s the amount of impunity he enjoys.
Of course, he regularly goes back up to the Temple Mount, to the Haram Al Sharif. And until recently, this was all I really knew about Alex Odeh’s alleged assassin. But in recent days, I’ve actually managed to find more about the other murderer, allegedly, Keith Fuchs.
So, Keith Fuchs, he has now reinvented himself as Israel Fuchs and he also, regularly makes appearances on the Temple Mount, visiting the Dome of The Rock. But in some ways, he has wrought even more damage the Israeli body politic because in recent years, he actually got together with these four men, also, affiliates of a local Kahanist front group, Komemiyut, incidentally one that has been donated to by US ambassador to Israel, David Freidman.
So, funded by Freidman, but also, funded by Ken Abramowitz, who is the bagman of the Likud- the head of Likud Israel, that’s Netanyahu’s political party. So, top fundraiser for Netanyahu’s party is now funding Israel Fuchs, assassin of Alex Odeh, funding the NGO that he has established to author legislation for the Israeli Knesset.
And here he is in the Israeli Knesset, the alleged assassin of Alex Odeh, Israel Fuchs, sitting in the Knesset committee where they discuss legislation. And this group has, in fact, succeeded in getting some of the legislation authored passed in Israel’s Knesset.
This is the legacy: top lawyer and writing legislation for the country. Zero mention in the American media, and that’s going to change very, very soon. I have an article coming out in a couple of weeks in mainstream media here. And at that point, you’ll be able to read about what I have told you and a lot more details.
But I’m just going to say one last thing So, you can understand how deep the rot goes. I’m sorry [that] I have to say this, but I believe it’s important that you know. So, when I was able to find this info on Keith Fuchs, I was also, able to learn where he lives. His address was listed since he established this NGO, I was able to find his info in government files.
And wouldn’t you know it, this is his house. The street that he lives on, the only street so, named in the entire country, is “גבעות ג’יפנה” in Hebrew “Hills of Jifna.” Jifna, for those who don’t necessarily know, that’s a village in the West Bank where Alex Odeh was born and raised.
It could be a random coincidence, but it’s pretty hard to believe that the one street just happened to be, I think it’s far more likely that either he chose to move to this street or that he purposefully had this street renamed.
I don’t know yet, but I think it’s quite likely that every day he walks out in the morning and looks at the street sign- he’s remembered, he remembers his So, called accomplishment. To him, this is a notch on the belt. This is a trophy.
This is the village of Jifna today, where Alex Odeh’s legacy is remembered. And I hope that I can do it some justice and remember him. And I hope that in the days to come, many more people will know about that legacy, and about the legacy of his alleged assassins who have never faced justice for their crime, and the legacy of those top Israeli politicians who defended them all these years and help protect them achieve their impunity.
Thanks for coming out today.