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Kahane Called ‘Mirror Image of Farrakhan’ by U.S. Jewish Leader

Times Staff Writer

Rabbi Meir Kahane, a member of the Israeli parliament who advocates expelling Arabs from Israel, was described Wednesday by one of the top Jewish leaders in America as being a demagogic rabble-rouser who is “the mirror image of Louis Farrakhan.”

In a slashing rebuttal to Kahane’s accusations that Jewish leaders refuse to debate with him because they are afraid of the questions he raises, Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, said Jewish leaders in the United States and Israel have refused to debate because they don’t want to give Kahane recognition.

Kahane’s statements, specifically about Arabs, Schindler said, are “absurd. They shame the Jewish community.”

‘Both Are Rabble-Rousers’

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Schindler, leader of 1.3 million Reform Jews in the United States, told The Times that “in many ways, I see him (Kahane) as the mirror image of Louis Farrakhan. Both of them are demagogues. Both are rabble-rousers. Both threaten individuals, and both try to seize power by giving the helpless, hapless masses both a satan and a savior.

“In Farrakhan’s case, the satan is the Jew. In Kahane’s, it’s the Arab. Of course, both of them consider themselves to be the messiah, the savior, who brings order to primordial chaos. Kahane saves Israel, and Farrakhan saves America and its black community.

“Both are to be feared, and both are to be fought with every recourse at our command.”

Farrakhan, a black power advocate, recently caused a furor in Los Angeles with a speech before 12,500 in which he described Israel as a “wicked hypocrisy” and said of the Holocaust: “Don’t push your 6 million down our throats when we lost 100 million” to slavery.

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Loses U.S. Citizenship

Kahane, 53, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., was stripped of his U.S. citizenship earlier this month on the grounds that he had served in the Israeli armed forces and was a member of that nation’s parliament. Before he went to live in Israel, he founded the Jewish Defense League.

Earlier Wednesday, Kahane told a press conference in Los Angeles that Jewish leaders are “terrified” of facing the real question about the future of Israel, which he said is whether Arabs should be expelled from Israel or allowed to turn it into an Arab state through their higher birthrate.

Kahane said Los Angeles was the last of 11 cities he visited on a U.S. tour in which he attempted to pressure Jewish leaders into discussing this question. But, he said, “in every city there has been either locked doors or a refusal to speak with us, certainly in terror of having to choose. The question I pose is a question which horrifies them (Jewish leaders). . . . I have touched the most painful and sensitive nerve in the American Jewish body.”

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‘This Is Not Racism’

Kahane said he is not opposed to Arabs because they are Arabs. If an Arab converted to Judaism, “he would be as Jewish as Meir Kahane is. This is not racism,” Kahane said. “Judaism does not know the difference between color or ethnic background, but what it does say is that a Jewish state has to be run by Jews only, or else we’ll have another Auschwitz again. If you want to know what they (the Arabs) would do to us tomorrow if they could, look at what they do to themselves today in Beirut, Lebanon.”

Kahane said he wanted a religious Jewish state, but only through democratic means, and he hopes to be able to convince Israelis to create such a state.

In such a state, “if the Arabs chose to stay in Israel with their personal rights--economic, social, cultural--and no national rights, they can, and they will not vote or sit in the Knesset (parliament). If they’re not ready for that, then they’ll have to leave.”

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In the end, he said, “I want to transfer the Arabs out of Israel before Israel becomes a Northern Ireland.”


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