Thank you for that great story about Meir Kahane (“Days Of Rage: Kahane In New York,” March 8) by Jonathan Mark. Like Mr. Mark, I too was enthralled by the JDL in 1968 for a short time, even engaged in some “direct action” against the Moyseyev Ballet when they visited Chicago, but as I got to know the members and learned about Kahanism, I saw their true colors: losers, racists and weirdos, very confused Jews who had to prove their machoism in a world of goyim.
I do remember a few memorable lines from Kahane, however. Mr. Mark quotes one famous one from a 1971 talk Kahane gave. When Moses came upon an Egyptian beating a Jew, he didn’t, in Kahane’s telling, set up a committee to investigate the root causes of Egyptian anti-Semitism; he smote the Egyptian. In another instance I remember Kahane telling me, “Jack, if I could have 10 leftists like you, I could run the country.”
He always admired committed Jewish radicals who he could turn around to his way of thinking, but what was his way of thinking? Racism, violence, xenophobia, fear of Muslims. It kind of feels like people we know today. Plus, I am shocked at Israel. At one time, they outlawed [the Kahanist] Kach [party]; today, in a new mask, Israel accepts racist political parties.