Meir Kahane was a rabbi and a politician. He had to make his ideas politically and religiously acceptable.

A major political limitation in Meir Kahane’s teaching is his rejection of civil war. Kahane repeatedly stated that he would shrink from imposing Judaism on Israeli society for the fear of civil war. Good Jews from Maccabees to Lehi did not shrink from civil war. Moses executed a large number of Hebrews for idolatry, leaving us a clear guideline: traitors must be executed. Society must not tolerate those who undermine its values. If a civil war is required to save Israel as Jewish state, then civil war is a must. Democratic processes won’t work: it is almost impossible to convince a silent majority of imminent danger. The Jews did not believe it in 1939.

Meir Kahane’s major religious limitation is the concept of ger toshav. The Torah presumes a strong, politically incorrect, ethnically conscious Israeli state and so allows a number of foreigners to reside there as submissive resident aliens who respect the state’s Jewish character. Rabbis uncritically grafted that concept onto modern Israel. Kahane accepts that some Arabs can live in Israel with restricted civil rights. That won’t work. They will cry injustice, protest against apartheid, bring their extended families to Israel in family reunion schemes, and breed on Israeli welfare. No Arabs should be left in Israel, with the possible exception of those married to renegade Jews.

Meir Kahane had to pander to the welfare addicts of the sephardic community. Kahane was an economic liberal and insisted on deregulation but could not reject socialist dogmas like equality. He therefore argued for the “normalization” of Jews who should take the Arabs’ jobs. It is not normal for Jews, however, to be street cleaners. Jews who could be engineers in any other country need not be janitors in Israel. Israel can import temporary workers from Asia for lowly jobs. They will live apart and leave after their non-renewable visas expire.

Other than that, Kahane was right.

Rabbi Meir Kahane