06 December 2023

The Maccabees: Yesterday's "Heroes" - Today's "Terrorists"

24 Kislev 5784
Erev Hanukkah

No matter what news site you visited today, you very likely read about the American plan for retribution against the "extremist West Bank settlers."  According to one account, the US said the Israeli government simply isn't doing enough, so they must intervene.  How long until American soldiers are patrolling our streets?  God forbid!!

In a rare punitive move against Israel, the State Department said Tuesday it will impose travel bans on “extremist Jewish settlers” implicated in a rash of recent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the step after warning Israel last week that President Joe Biden’s administration would be taking action over the attacks. Blinken did not announce individual visa bans, but officials said those would be coming this week and could affect dozens of settlers and their families.

“We have underscored to the Israeli government the need to do more to hold accountable extremist settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank,” Blinken said in a statement. “As President Biden has repeatedly said, those attacks are unacceptable.”

“Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities,” Blinken said.

What a coincidence, on October 6, 2023, Haaretz ran an expose authored by Idan Yaron (which I can't fully access without paying).

Scholar Idan Yaron penetrated Israel's radical right, winning the trust of its leaders, attending their gatherings and even observing a pogrom. Now he's publishing a book on the Kahanist legacy they are perpetuating

The signal for the pogrom to start was given just hours after a terrorist attack on June 21 at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, in which four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded. The target of those bent on taking retaliatory “price tag” actions was the adjacent Palestinian village of Luban al-Sharqiya. Large numbers of young men arrived not only from the hard core of “hilltop youth” in the settlement of Yitzhar, but also included students from local high-school yeshivas and kollels....

I wrote the following in 2015... 

There is no question that in today's politically-correct climate, our beloved Maccabees would be branded as "Jewish terrorists". And today, they would only have to lift a finger to a keyboard to be found guilty of terrorist "ideology" by the Israeli "Thought Police". By their standards, the Torah and the Siddur are in danger of being labeled seditious materials. 

Consider the source of the following article. It's meant to be a hatchet job, but it contains some fascinating insights as well. You might call this a modern-day Hanukah story. If the Maccabees were with us today - and are they not? - then this is their story...

The Shin Bet describes him as a central figure in Jewish terrorism, 'a violent and dangerous ideological criminal,' while his friends tell of a quiet and pleasant young man who became a leader merely because of his writing skills; somewhere on the way, between the outposts he's been living in since he was 15, to his administrative detention following the Duma murders, Rabbi Meir Kahane's grandson has formed a radical and anti-Zionist ideology.
Eight years later, August 2023, the story continues.  According to the New Lines Institute...

Israel’s governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is moving aggressively to establish political and security structures in the West Bank that will foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
Far-right Cabinet members in powerful positions are pushing for closer collaboration between formal state security forces and nonstate settler militias in the West Bank. These actions delegate unprecedented power over key aspects of Israel’s military order in the West Bank to religious nationalists aligned with the Israeli settler movement and to extremist religious nationalist militants within Israel. In the near-term, if the Israeli coalition continues down this path, it will entrench a one-state reality designed to indefinitely suppress Palestinian social, political, economic, and security participation in that state.

The role of Israeli security units in that end state – especially if those units receive funding, training, or other support through U.S. security assistance to Israel – could soon present a complex but pressing challenge to U.S. policymakers. Already, Israeli settler militias are referred to as the “murky arm of the state” in the West Bank. Those militias are linked to human rights violations and large-scale attacks perpetrated against Palestinian residents of the West Bank, including recent violations against Palestinian-Americans, that have raised the concern of the U.S. government. The Israeli settler militias’ increasingly close cooperation with (and in some cases direct support from) the Israeli government complicates U.S. security assistance to one of its closest allies in the Middle East. Policymakers in Washington should closely monitor the developing relationships between Israel’s formal military structures and these newer state-aligned militias. The U.S. also should work to proactively communicate to the Israeli government the risks of deepening ties with organizations – state-run or otherwise – explicitly committed to crushing the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through armed violence.

...Israel’s governing coalition is wrestling with the evolution of an extremist religious nationalist movement that has metastasized from what was once characterized as Israel’s far-right political fringe. The strategic goal of this movement is to reshape the Israeli state to assert Jewish primacy over all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, including a hardline stance to limit or even eliminate the civil rights of Palestinians (whether or not they have Israeli citizenship).

This sociopolitical movement is not monolithic, but it fuses two main ideological currents, creating a potent alliance within Israel’s sociopolitics and, increasingly, within the state’s security strategy. One current comes from the Religious Zionist settler movement that developed after Israel won the 1967 Six-Day War and occupied the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai. The second current comes from the now deceased Rabbi Meir Kahane, a U.S.-born religious leader and writer. Rabbi Kahane founded a political party, Kach, a sectarian militia that the U.S. listed as a terrorist organization until recently. He also founded the Jewish Defense League and became a controversial Israeli politician, remaining a potent figure even in death.

The Heirs of Kahane on the Rise

The ideological current led by Kahane until his assassination in 1990 garners the most attention because it is the most obviously associated with the potential to incite human rights violations. Kahane, who was banned from the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in 1988 after one term for his racism, focused on the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel and the West Bank. He often fantasized about being appointed defense minister so he could order the IDF to “do whatever you need to do,” and tell Palestinians that “Whoever does not leave will be slaughtered.” After Kahane died, his movement remained a radical fringe largely rejected by mainstream Israeli politicians. The movement went on to be banned under Israel’s anti-terrorism laws in 1994, after avowed Kach supporter and U.S.-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Kahanism is a militant communalist ideology that seeks to impose sectarian dominance through the powers of the secular state structures. Religious Zionism is a messianic ideology that seeks to fulfill a religious mission through the settlement of the Jewish population without limits throughout Israel and the West Bank. In the past, these were distinct ideologies, but they are now blending in Israel and the West Bank, allowing a larger, more popular, and more militant messianic movement to take root.

Since Kahane’s assassination, his protégés have pursued a two-pronged approach to asserting their national vision. The first is a gradual reinvention of the Kach movement through more careful messaging, although with little shift in the end goal of asserting Jewish supremacy across all of Israel and the West Bank. Jewish Power, Kach’s ideological successor party led by Ben-Gvir, was founded in 2012. Ben-Gvir himself was a Kach member and youth coordinator before the group was outlawed in Israel. Ben-Gvir praised Kahane at a commemoration event in November 2022, after being reelected to the Knesset earlier that month, saying, “Ultimately Rabbi Kahane was about love. Love for Israel without compromise, without any other consideration.”

However, he has been careful to refrain from Kahane’s explicit endorsement of ethnic cleansing and mass violence against Palestinian civilians. In 2015, Ben-Gvir instructed his followers to chant “death to terrorists” instead of “death to Arabs,” telling them, “that’s legal with a stamp.”

In parallel with this effort to moderate, in word if not in deed, Israel’s far-right fringes have pursued a second tactic – acting outside the confines of the law, gambling that the Israeli state’s more moderate factions will lack the political wherewithal to rein them in. Israel’s growing “hilltop youth” movement represents the clearest example of this trend – loosely organized militias setting up illegal settlements across the West Bank and using them to conduct targeted harassment, beatings, and property damage against Palestinians. Meir Kahane’s grandson, Meir Ettinger, is a leader of the movement.

Senior leadership of the IDF generally views these militias as a nuisance and occasionally orders IDF soldiers to arrest members of these militias or clear encampments, although Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly rebuffed these requests. And although senior IDF leadership largely disapproves of the movement, some factions within the force have openly trained and equipped the militias to conduct human rights abuses against Palestinians. There is also reportedly a rise in support for the Jewish Power party among the IDF’s rank and file, with an estimated 20% of IDF soldiers voting for Ben-Gvir’s party. One hilltop youth leader has even been tapped as a spokesperson for a Knesset member in Ben-Gvir’s party. Over time, their illegal settlements become facts on the ground that are politically impossible to remove. Israel’s new far-right government is now moving to legalize them.

...The normal U.S. approach to monitoring and assessing security assistance to Israel – strategic ambiguity – will be tested harshly by the policy on the West Bank that Smotrich, Ben-Gvir, and their partners are implementing. Future U.S. efforts to have oversight over security assistance to Israel will be complicated by the policies of Israel’s government and will deteriorate because of the inclusion of extremist Jewish settler militias and their partners in the state-imposed security order in the West Bank. The primary goal of U.S. policy, to create conditions for a two-state reality for Israelis and Palestinians, is severely threatened. U.S. policymakers will also likely soon have to grapple with how to continue to support Israel in honor of the close relationship between the two countries, while also ensuring that U.S. security assistance does not empower Israeli forces that violate the human and civil rights of Palestinians.

Well, this all sounds like good news to me!

So, no matter which direction you look in, we are on a collision course...  No!  We have already collided with the US government and it's only going to get worse until HKB"H removes their power over us.  The most important thing for us is that THE JEWS will understand that the United States is our enemy, no different from the Greeks and the Romans, and that they are doomed.  We WILL have the victory yet AGAIN because WE ARE THE ETERNAL PEOPLE!

(H/T YB)

In the days of Mattityahu ben Yochanan, the Hasmonean High Priest, and his sons, when the wicked Greek Kingdom rose up against Your nation Israel to make them forget Your Torah and to remove them from the laws of your will, and You in Your great mercy stood up for them in their time of distress. You fought their fight, judged their judgement, and avenged their revenge. You turned over the strong into the hands of the weak, and the many into the hands of the few, and the impure into the hands of the pure, and the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and sinners into the hands of those involved with Your Torah. And for Yourself, You made a great and holy name in Your world, and for Your nation Israel You made a great salvation and redemption to this day.... (Al Hanissim Prayer for Hanukkah) 



  1. Full HaAretz article is at: https://archive.is/cBn94

  2. Price tags, revenge killings, are clearly anti-Jewish and Anti - Torah. The ban on these extreme settlers traveling to the US is stupid because how many of them actually do travel there. I am sure that many Jews in Israel years ago thought Rabbi Kahane's views on expelling the Arabs (he never advoctaed the murder of them, that is a total lie) was outrageous and racist. I wonder now after the Simchat Torah massacre if that view has changed.

    1. Listen HERE from 12:58 - 14:30 (2 1/2 mins of your time, please!)

      These are DEFENSIVE actions on the part of the Jews. That said, I disagree with your assessment that the actions you name are "clearly anti-Jewish and anti-Torah." It's not "clear" to me at all. In fact, it's not even true. Have you read anything of the life of King David or Shimshon HaGibor?

      If anything, no one has yet had the courage to go all the way and fulfill the complete commandment to rid the land of these foreign occupiers. (MBY will!)

  3. I forgot to add in my previous comment, sadly but not surprisingly many US Jews still believe America is our best friend and will always have our backs. This is one reason why believe so many US Jews still don't make Aliyah. They still believe the US is the best country for Jews and they continue to support Israel from the outside. I personally don't believe that the recent surge in anti-semitism is going to lead most US Jews to Aliyah. Like previously they will wait for it to die down and then just continue the same old message of continued dialogue and education.