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Ben Gvir posts speech honoring Kahane: He was all about love

Itamar Ben Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit party speaks during a ceremony in Jerusalem marking the 27th anniversary of the killing of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, November 7, 2017. The sign behind him reads, "Kahane was right!" (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Itamar Ben Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit party speaks during a ceremony in Jerusalem marking the 27th anniversary of the killing of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, November 7, 2017. The sign behind him reads, "Kahane was right!" (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Far-right Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir releases his speech from an event set for later in the evening to mark the 32nd anniversary of the killing of Meir Kahane.

Ben Gvir released the speech to the media after apparently accidentally first posting it online.

In the speech, Ben Gvir credits Kahane, who was banned from the Knesset for racism, with establishing a yeshiva that helped Ben Gvir return to religion and where he studied his teachings.

Ben Gvir, who is demanding to be police minister in the next government, distances himself from some of Kahane’s teachings, but says he ultimately draws inspiration from him.

“It is no secret that today I am not rabbi Kahane and I do not support the deportation of all Arabs, and I will not enact laws for separate beaches, although it is certain that we will act and do everything to expel terrorists from the country for the sake of the Jewish character of Israel, for the settlements and its Jewish identity,” Ben Gvir says.

“But it seems to me that the highlight of Rabbi Kahane was love. Love for Israel without compromise, without any other consideration,” he says.

Meir Kahane addresses a gathering at the Silver Springs Jewish Center in Maryland, Oct. 27, 1988 (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Kahane spoke out against Jewish coexistence with Arabs, whom he called a “cancer” and said should be expelled from the State of Israel. He was elected to the Knesset in 1984, but Knesset members across the spectrum would walk out when he spoke and his Kach party was subsequently banned by the Knesset as racist; he was therefore barred from running for reelection in 1988. He was assassinated in 1990 in New York by an Egyptian-born American.

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