Benyamin, USA

October 23, 2011

I am a modern orthodox Jew from Boca Raton Florida,USA . I am a major activist for Israel and hope to Join the IDF when I’m older. I am 16 and going to Israel next year for my school class trip. I am originally from Woodmere new york but my family moved down to florida in 2003.

 Hello Josh, first off I would like to state that I am a proud supporter of Israel and the Zionist movement. I attend a Jewish private school in north miami. over the summer I decided to do an extended and deep project on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While searching I came across a surprising discovery. I came across a web page that listed all middle eastern terror organizations and noticed that 1 terror organization named Kahene Chai was founded by a man named Meir Kahene. I want part of my report to include a small section about the Kahene Chai but I was unable to find enough details about them besides that they threatened Israeli Gov’t officials and have attacked mosques in the west bank. can you tell me about this group. I would appreciate it greatly thanks. Question

As my second question. I have been watching the Palestinian statehood bid news very closely. I am greatly concerned for the Jewish state. I do not believe that the palestinians should get a state because they cannot be trusted, clearly demonstrated with Yasser Arafat back in the 1990s. this is my second question. Do you think that a palestinian state in the west bank will bring peace? Question

I have a third question as well. this time about relations with Turkey. ever since the flotilla I have been very careful not to buy Turkish products and have been boycotting turkish goods along with my friends and family. I think that Turkey is on its way to becoming a new Iran because their leader sounds like an extremist to me and is a war criminal for many other reasons besides his support for Hamas attacks against Israel. heres my third question. Do you think that Turkey is a human rights violator and is becoming another extremist country?

Hi Benyamin,

I’ve actually been to Boca Raton once years ago. I played basketball in the JCC Maccabbi games there when I was sixteen, it was a great week and I had a lot of fun. I don’t know if I can tell you too much about Kahane Chai, as I’m far from an expert on the subject. However, I would say that it may also be worth looking into their connections with the Jewish Defense League of New York, which was also founded by Meir Kahane and is recognized as a terrorist organization by the FBI, and also Yigal Amir (the man who assassinated Yitchak Rabin) who was connected to the Eyal movement which claims to draw its inspiration from Kahanism. There is also a website called Masada2000 which is run by Kahanists, that may be worth a look as well as it is a good insight into their beliefs. I warn you though; it’s a very offensive site with a lot of colourful language! I don’t think that a Palestinian state will bring peace. I do, however, think that there cannot be peace without a Palestinian state. Personally, I very much want to see a Palestinian state, but one that is good for both Palestinians’ lives and Israeli security. Clearly, the Hamas rule over the Gaza strip has been devastating for Gazans, with Gay rights, women’s rights and personal freedoms being trampled upon in a way that makes Israeli occupation look like a children’s birthday party (which it definitely isn’t).

The statehood bid is not the thing that is going to bring a Palestinian state though, as a viable Palestine is not possible without the cooperation of Israel, which will only come with negotiation. Lastly, Turkey is definitely a human rights violator. Their history with the Armenian genocide and their on-going policy of killing Kurds is evidence of that. There is no question that they are guilty of human rights violations. I also agree with you that Erdogan’s rhetoric is certainly extreme. I don’t really know enough about the people and country to tell you if that is just talk, or if it really means something significant, however my friend Daniel, who is also on this site, knows much more about it than me and wrote this excellent article about the issue that was reprinted in both Israeli and Turkish newspapers. I hope that I’ve helped a little, enjoy your class trip here and good luck with making it here to join the army! All the best, Josh

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