Recently, Dr Steven Plaut, an economics professor at Haifa University wrote an essay quite critical of Moshe Feiglin (Ed. note: please visit Dr. Plaut's Zionist Conspiracy Blog and scroll down to "The Feiglin Factor" article). While Plaut admits that "Feiglin is a nice guy, a truly religious guy" and one who "speaks well", he leveled a major criticism at Moshe which I must address since it deals with me personally.
Dr Steven Plaut wrote that the #1 reason for Feiglin's failure all these years is his "refusal to distance himself from Sackett" who he claims is "an open Kahanist". He then writes that Feiglin "needs to dump Sackett" or he will never be successful.
First of all, Moshe Feiglin has been tremendously successful. Above everything else he has put the idea into millions of heads that leadership for the State of Israel must be based on Jewish identity and authentic Jewish values. Thanks to him, people with Jewish pride, strength and conviction have entered Israel's political scene and are talking – not only about building 30 more houses in Shilo – but about leading the nation!
However, it is not that point that I want to explain. Allow me to address the rest of this post to Dr Plaut directly regarding his negative comments about Rabbi Kahane.
Dear Dr Plaut,
I would like to begin by thanking you for bestowing upon me the highest compliment imaginable. By calling me "an open Kahanist" you have given me the greatest gift. I first met Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1973 and immediately became active in the Jewish Defense League's fight against anti-semitism and freedom for Soviet Jewry. I read every word Rabbi Kahane wrote, attended every lecture possible and studied a tremendous amount of his Torah ideology. Unlike most students who follow their Rabbi from classroom to classroom, I followed mine from classroom to the streets of New York where we battled big, bad Jew-haters and taught them what "Never Again" truly meant. I also followed my holy Rabbi into prison where we followed the example of Moses, Jeremiah, Rabbi Akiva, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Begin and Natan Sharansky (and thousands of others) who preferred to fight with Jewish pride even at the expense of personal freedom. I then followed my Rabbi here to Israel when I made aliyah with my family in July 1990. Unfortunately, I also followed behind my Rabbi's coffin on that dark and tragic day in November 1990 when his pure and saintly body was laid to rest on Har Hamenuchot.
Immediately after the shiva, I continued my following. This time, I followed the young man who stepped into his father's huge shoes. Binyamin Zev Kahane was young in years but wise and strong. His pen was mightier than the sword and he shocked the world with his brilliance. The Jewish establishment thought that Kahane was dead and buried but "Od Kahane Chai" – Kahane still lives! I became one of Binyamin Kahane's closest friends and the Chairman of the Board of his Yeshiva. I spoke to him daily and had the merit of being arrested with him TWICE in our battles against the forces of evil. What an honor to see a son following in his father's footsteps! I was dedicated to Binyamin Kahane and gave him every spare moment I had. Unfortunately, I also followed behind his – and his wife's – coffin 12 years ago when they too were tragically murdered and laid to rest on Har Hamenuchot, leaving behind 6 young, innocent and beautiful flowers, one of which who bears the name Meir Kahane.
Dr Plaut; you generally write well and explain brilliantly about Israeli politics. Your voice has been one of the only ones, throughout all these years, who has screamed about the absurdity of the Oslo Accords. With a touch of humor and sarcasm you have managed to explain our position to the world. I have enjoyed your articles and have forwarded them to many people over the years. Most of my friends cannot believe that these articles come from a Professor at Haifa University, thinking instead that they truly come from a hilltop near Hebron. And yet, with all your brilliance and wit, you cannot get out of the mud. You see a proud student of Rabbis Meir and Binyamin Kahane and your hate button is automatically pressed. You assume that a Kahanist is a crazy, irrational, blood-thirsty, gun-toting maniac but actually the opposite is true. Those who truly studied – and continue to study the teachings of our holy Rabbi – are the most rational Jews on the planet! We are proud Jews who possess brotherly love like nobody else. We have self-sacrifice, Jewish pride and a deep understanding of what our Father in Heaven truly wants from us. Above all, we are 100% honest in our thinking, speaking and actions. Unlike many others, we are not "for sale" and are certainly not "politically correct". This is what leads good people – such as yourself – to draw the wrong conclusion. Since we do not play the game, you incorrectly assume that a Kahanist is a negative force to be avoided at all cost, when – in all honesty – we are very often the best members of a team.
Professor Plaut; my dear friend Moshe Feiglin understands this concept very well. He is much more than the nice-religious-good-speaking-guy you write about. He is able to see clearly and does not accept the labels that are so easily stuck on good, serious Jews. The time has come for you to dust off your glasses as well. Thank G-d you were not blinded by the Oslo hysteria nor the euphoria of a Palestinian state but for some reason, you just can't get past that annoying Kahane bug from buzzing in your head.
Anytime you want, please feel free to call me to discuss this in greater detail. I will gladly travel to Haifa and treat you to the lunch of your dreams in the kosher restaurant of your choice, but beware: Rabbi Kahane accompanies me wherever I go.
With love of Israel,