Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The New Kahane Social Network

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The New Kahane Social Network

Article excerpt

The late Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the violent Jewish Defense League and the militantly anti-Arab Zionist political party Kach, was quite clear about the tactics he found most effective. In a quote circulated around the Internet by Kahanist activist Barbara Ginsberg, Kahane wrote:

What led to the creation of a Jewish state, if not violence?

How much good did non-violence do for the Jews of the Holocaust? Of course violence helps. It helps to force an issue onto the headlines and consciousness of the world. It makes people talk about the issue. And then, if the violence is accompanied by clever propaganda, it helps remarkably well and that the confused object of your violence does not know how to deal with you and your violence, why-of course-you continue and escalate that violence.

More than 20 years after his assassination, Kahane's vision of an exclusively Jewish religious state, born through violence and free of Arabs, continues to attract supporters. While few if any would call themselves members of Kach or its offshoot Kahane Chai, since the two groups have been declared illegal by the U.S. and Israel, today's Kahanists remain active players in the Israeli settlement movement, promoting violence against Arabs as well as against any Israeli government steps toward a peace settlement.

Moreover, an analysis of the Kahanist presence on social networks such as Facebook reveals that, contrary to U.S. policy, their continuing efforts to drive Arabs from Israeli-controlled territory are still being subsidized by American taxpayers.

Friends in High Places

Members of Facebook's network of Kahanist friends include politicians such as New York City Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben Ari. Kahanist activists also have used their Facebook accounts to connect with the mainstream media. Pro-settler media organizations such as Aaron Klein's WorldNet Daily, Yesha Bulletin Enews, and Israel Newswire operate deeply within the Kahanist network. In apparent violation of U.S. statutes outlawing material support for terrorism, Facebook networking in effect allows Kahanists to, in the words of the U.S. State Department, "retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity," in addition to serving as a free public relations agency.

Kahanist activists have used Facebook to connect with elected national U.S. leaders: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who has made 14 trips to Israel, was listed in December 2010 as Facebook friends with both Kahane Chai leader David Ha'Ivry and Kach leader Baruch Marzel.

Facebook records document Kahanist networks that reach not only to the halls of power in Washington, DC, but deep into the West Bank, where armed settlers command the heights atop Palestinian lands, behind barbed wire fences, guard towers, and the 24-hour protection of Israel's military. One Kahane "friend" of prominent members of Kahane Chai, designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department, is Eliyokim Cohen, a former resident of Framingham, Massachussetts.

Cohen writes on his Facebook page:

Hashem gave the Jews the Land of Israel, so I packed up my golf clubs and moved to the Holy Land, more specifically to Judea and Samaria, heart of the Jewish I am an OCCUPIER by day and a THORN in the "peace" process by night...Shalom

U.S. Kahanist Support Networks

Two major groups of Kahanist extremists maintain active support networks in the U.S.: elements associated with Kach, under Marzel's leadership, in the southern West Bank settlements piercing the Palestinian population center of Hebron; and those associated with Kahane Chai, under the leadership of activists such as Yekutiel Guzofsky and Ha'Ivry, based in the settlement of Kfar Tapuach in the heart of the northern West Bank, near the Palestinian population center of Nablus.

According to a 2004 State Department administrative record, Israel's Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that police had raided the outlawed Kach party office and found "two discs, one in Hebrew and one in English," aimed at bringing the movement's message to potential supporters and benefactors. …

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