When Rabbi Meir Kahane was elected to the Knesset in 1984 there was a great outpouring of anger in Israel that an open Jewish Nazi had been elected to the Knesset. Among his delightful proposals were a 5 year prison sentence for Arab males having sexual relations with Jewish women (no penalty for Arab women doing the same!).
They even passed Israel’s first ‘anti-racist’ law as a result, but had some difficulty given the inherent racism of the Israeli state, so they had to except racism on the grounds of religion from the law. The result? Kahane voted for it!
In reality what Kahane spoke about openly other Zionists spoke about more quietly. But Kahane’s argument was unimpeachable. Israel could be a democratic state or a Jewish state. It couldn’t be both. If it were democratic then one had to accept that an Arab majority could one day vote to make the state a secular, non racist entity. So he proposed loyalty oaths for those he termed ‘resident aliens’.
Fast forward a quarter of a century and Avigdor Lieberman, previously a member of Kahane’s Kach Party, is now Foreign Minister introducing loyalty oaths! All with the blessing of a majority of the Knesset and Ehud Barak Labour Defence Minister.
In reality Kahane’s only offence was to say aloud what others spoke about under their breath.
Kahane's vision for loyalty oath was not so different than Barak's
Late extremist rabbi proposed every non-Jew wishing to become a naturalized Israeli would have to pledge to 'the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.'
By Chaim Levinson
More than a quarter of a century before Labor Party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed that non-Jews seeking citizenship should pledge allegiance to the Declaration of Independence, Rabbi Meir Kahane did the same in the political platform of his Kach party in 1984.
Kahane was elected to the Knesset in 1984, but his party was disqualified for being racist when it sought to run again in 1988.
As part of its 1984 election campaign, Kach issued a manifesto entitled "The Arabs," in which it detailed its plans for "transferring" Israel's Arab population out of the country and other policies on how Israeli Arabs should be treated. One of the articles proposed "requiring all Arabs to swear allegiance to the Jewish state and to sign the Declaration of Independence."
This is similar to the proposal made by Barak, whereby every non-Jew wishing to become a naturalized Israeli would have to pledge allegiance to "the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence."
Kahane detailed a plan to transfer Arab Israelis out of Israel voluntarily and with compensation. Anyone who wished to stay would "be asked to sign an oath of allegiance to the Jewish state. In this declaration, he will recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and its sole sovereignty over the land and will receive the rights of a resident alien. Any Arab who acts in this way will remain a resident of Israel without national rights, but with full individual, cultural and minority rights forever."
Former Kach member Michael Ben Ari, today a National Union MK, considers the document historic proof that Kahane was right.