The Jewish Panther: Did Meir Kahane's Racist Ideology Emerge From the American Left?

The racist leader of the Kach movement was deeply inspired by 1960s intellectuals who attacked the U.S. liberal establishment from the left, and by radical Black thinkers. That is the provocative thesis of a new biography of Meir Kahane – which has some highly relevant lessons for Israel 2022

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Itamar Ben Ami
Itamar Ben Ami

When Zionism wakes up in the morning with self-doubts, it looks in the mirror and sees a reflection of Meir Kahane. Zionism doesn’t like the racist image it sees there. It would rather consider Kahane as a glitch – a grotesque phenomenon that mistakenly happened to roll into Israel and disappeared in short order. After all, what can be gleaned about a person who, in a 1972 interview with Playboy magazine, admitted that there was no significant difference between his ideas and the Nazis’ dreams of racial purity? In the view of many Zionists, Kahane’s manifest racism, his ambition to cleanse the Jewish state of non-Jews and his attempt to enact legislation that would prohibit sexual relations between Jews and gentiles – cannot teach us any important lessons about the Jewish dreams of power and sovereignty.

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