November 5, 2010, - 5:23 pm
I was in court all day representing a client, but I can’t let the day go by without marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zichrono LiVrachah [of Blessed Memory], a former Member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), and founder of the Jewish Defense League (JDL). He was, sadly, also the very first American victim of Al-Qaeda. On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Kahane was shot in cold blood by Islamic terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair, while Kahane was giving a speech at a hotel in New York. I had the honor of meeting Rabbi Kahane when I was a college student, and I will never forget it. More on that, below.
El-Sayyid Nosair, Ramzi Yousif: Their First Qaeda Victim Rabbi Meir Kahane
Had federal authorities actually paid attention to the Kahane trial and to the actions of Nosair, they would have uncovered the 1993 World Trade Center 9/11 attacks. Nosair prayed at Brooklyn’s Al-Farouq Mosque, the Al-Qaeda mosque from which the first attack was planned and at which part of the 9/11 attacks were ultimately born. Many of the participants and planners of the 1993 attacks visited Nosair in prison.
But the feds didn’t care and didn’t bother to notice. To them, Rabbi Kahane was an extremist. While even Israel tried to discount Kahane back then, he was right and visionary about so many things. Even the Israeli left, today, has adopted many of Rabbi Kahane’s suggestions and views. Originally, they said Jews and Palestinians could live in peace together in Israel. Rabbi Kahane said they could not live together in the same state because of Palestinian terrorism and enmity, and he was right. He was the first to suggest ideas of separation, such as the wall. But back then, the Israelis didn’t like his popularity and enacted laws specifically designed to stop him from being re-elected to the Knesset and deny his Kach Party from gaining any more political power. As I wrote in a previous post:
As we know, the feds could have stopped it because they had–in their custody–El-Sayyid Nosair, who murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane and who was part of the Al-Qaeda cell that did the bombings. Nosair had piles of documents disclosing the plot, inside his house. The feds never looked at them because they didn’t care that this Muslim man murdered a U.S. citizen they looked at as a crazy right-wing rabbi (many of whose suggestions are, today, official policy of the left in Israel that so hated him then).
Nosair’s trial was a travesty of epic proportions. The moronic O.J. Simpson-style jury acquitted Nosair (defended by Marxist Jewish self-hater William Kunstler) of murder charges, even though it was clear that he planned the murder of Rabbi Kahane and meticulously carried it out in front of a room full of witnesses. Thankfully, the courageous judge overseeing the case, Judge Alvin Schlesinger, said the jury’s acquittal “was against the overwhelming weight of evidence and was devoid of common sense and logic,” and he sentenced Nosair to the maximum number of years possible, under the charges for which he was convicted–seven to 22 years. Sadly, Nosair may soon get out, as he was sentenced in 1992. Even if he does the maximum 22, that means he’ll be out by 2014.
Muslims used the Kahane trial as yet another opportunity for chanting anti-Semitic slogans and their typical “allahu fubar” [no, that’s not a typo or Freudian slip] crap about allah being the greatest. The feds probably could have learned a lot about Al-Qaeda in the U.S. just by monitoring who was outside the courthouse. It turned out that Nosair’s defense was bankrolled entirely by Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. But we only learned this far too late–in 2002, when the U.S. Senate investigated the 9/11 attacks. At the time of Kahane’s murder, the FBI hadn’t even heard of Bin Laden–because, again, they didn’t care about him. To them, he was just an extremist they were happy to get out of their hair.
As I noted, Rabbi Kahane was often reviled by the Israeli left, which has now adopted many of his views, and he was repeatedly referred to as an extremist. But he was one of the few Jewish leaders who actually cared about the safety, security, and survival of the Jewish people in America and in Israel. He successfully debated and trounced various Jewish liberals from Alan Dershowitz to Richard Cohen. His wit and wisdom was truly unmatched in our community. The same goes for his never-ending courage. Kahane confronted Muslim extremists not just in Israel, but all over America, in places like Minnesota (well before the current Somalian invasion there). He also battled Nazis marching in Skokie, outside of Chicago.
When Jewish and Gentile elderly people were terrorized by gangs and other thugs on the New York subways in the ’70s and ’80s, Rabbi Kahane’s Jewish Defense League protected them and did the job the New York Transit police and NYPD did not. They saved lives and they saved poor elderly people from having to give their last dollars to knife- and gun-wielding scum. He did the job the bloated, self-appointed Jewish bureaucratic organizations in America did not and still don’t do.
I had heard many negative things about Rabbi Kahane. After he regularly spoke at my synagogue and others in the Detroit area in the early ’80s, he was suddenly deemed so controversial by the left-wingers that dominate the (non-religious but powerful) Jewish community establishment that Kahane was no longer allowed to speak at local synagogues and had to rent hotel conference rooms to spread his message. I decided to hear–and decide for myself whether there was anything wrong with–the actual words of this alleged extremist, Rabbi Kahane, in the conference room of a now-defunct Detroit-area hotel.
In my own experience, instead of an extremist, Rabbi Kahane was a charismatic and effective speaker, whose words prove as true today as they did back then in the late 1980s. He discussed the Islamic threat to America, the threat that his murder foreshadowed (again, if the feds had only cared enough to pay attention)–a threat that has come true over and over again, with the 1993 and 2001 bombings, and the Underwear Bomber and the Times Square Bomber and the bomb packages from Kuwait. He talked about the growing Palestinian threat to Jews in Israel. Again, he was right. I heard no extremism. There were no calls for the extermination of Muslims or anything of the sort.
At the end of his speech, I went up to Rabbi Kahane and said,
Rabbi Kahane, Yasher Koach [a Hebrew/Jewish congratulation, which means, “May Your Strength be Firm”]. That was an excellent speech. You are nothing like what I’ve heard about you. Can I shake your hand?
Rabbi Kahane thanked me and shook my hand, and another rabbi in the room chastised him for it because religious Jews do not touch members of the opposite sex who are not their spouses or close relatives, out of modesty concerns. The man admonished Kahane:
Rabbi Kahane, are you really a Rabbi? If you were, you’d know that you should not shake a woman’s hand.
Rabbi Kahane’s response was quick and correct and shut the other man up:
Are you a rabbi? If you were, you’d know that, under Jewish law, to embarrass a person is like killing them and a whole world. And you’d know it’s better to gladly shake a woman’s hand when it is offered, than to embarrass her and commit a grave sin.
This was the kind of man Meir Kahane really was. He was smart and he was right. And he cared. In many ways, he was the hero the Jewish community needed then . . . and needs so much more now.
And if he had been taken seriously, instead of being dismissed by many as an extremist–if his murderer had been taken seriously–a lot of things might be different.
Not just for Israel or the Jewish people. But for America . . . and the 3,000 Americans who died in cold blood because the feds didn’t pay attention.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, Blessed Be His Memory. I remember. We should all remember.
Here is a sample of Rabbi Kahane’s work and words. My late father especially loved this one column, as read on video:
Tags: 20th anniversary, Al-Farooq Mosque, Al-Farouq Mosque, al-Qaeda, Brooklyn, El-Sayyid Nosair, First American Victim of Al-Qaeda, First Victim of Al-Qaeda, Islam, Islamic Terrorism, Israel, JDL, Jewish Defence League, Jewish Defense League, Kach, Knesset, Meir Kahane, Member of Knesset, Muslim, Muslims, Osama bin Laden, Qaeda, Rabbi Meir Kahane