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Kahanism, Goldstein Style

by on February 26, 2023

When Israel elected a far-right government last year people began to write about Kahanism. Based on the ideology of Meir Kahane, Kahanism calls for annexation of Judea and Samaria – the ancient kingdoms of that comprised biblical Israel – and an immediate expulsion of all Palestinians.

Twenty-nine years ago, a disciple of Kahane entered the Cave of the Forefathers, in Hebron, where biblical Abraham and his family are said to be buried, and killed almost thirty Palestinians and wounded hundred more while they were at prayer. Baruch Goldstein, the settler from Brooklyn that lived in Kiryat Arba, just outside Hebron., used a machine to indiscriminately kill dozens of defenseless Palestinians.

In Hebron about 800Jews live in tiny fortified urban settlements at the center of a city inhabited by 180,000 Palestinians. After the massacre in the mosque the response from Israel was to subject the Palestinians of Hebron to collective punishment. The doors of business on the main street were welded shut, and they remain that way twenty-nine years later.

My picture of what was the market in Hebron. Taken 2015

Baruch Goldstein was beaten to death by survivors of hist massacre that killed dozens and injured more than a hundred. His ideas and his worldview did not die. His gravestone calls him a martyr with a pure heart.

More recently, the name Itamar Ben-Gvir has been in the news. A member of Netanyahu’s most recent, noticeably-right-wing, government Ben-Gvir worships both Goldstein and Kahane.

The massacre in the Cave of the Forefathers was neither an accident nor a solitary event. It’s a sad continuum in the oppression and murder of Palestinians .

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