Internet video giant YouTube has purged thousands of videos of former Israeli Knesset Member and Jewish Defense League founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, barring an account which uploaded the videos with no explanation given for the move.
According to a report by The Jewish Press, some 2,600 videos containing footage of Rabbi Kahane or his students were removed from YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, several weeks ago in late December.
The account, which was operated by Michael Miller, a 29-year-old American-born immigrant and right-wing activist who co-manages the social media pages for Boomerang – Fighting For Israel, a pro-Israel advocacy group, was also deleted in the purge.
Miller said no explanation for the removal of the account or the videos was given.
In an interview with The JewishPress, Miller said he had tried to appeal the decision “three times on three separate occasions.”
Each time YouTube responded with the message “Thank you for your account suspension appeal. We have decided to keep your account suspended based on our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.”
“I am shocked, outraged, angry, upset, bitter, and frustrated – but deep down, sadly not surprised – that a social media outlet that claims to support and tolerate freedom of speech for everyone would [do this]…. This is an absolute disgrace,” said Miller.
Rabbi Kahane, an editor of The Jewish Press, founded the Jewish Defense League in 1968 to combat anti-Semitism in the US and, later, to protest the USSR’s refusal to permit Jews to emigrate.
In 1971 Rabbi Kahane moved to Israel, where he established the Kach party, becoming a controversial figure in Israeli politics.
Calling for the transfer of Israel’s Arab population to other Arab states, Rabbi Kahane won a seat in the Knesset at the helm of Kach in 1984, before being banned from the Knesset in 1988. In 1990, he was assassinated in New York by an Arab terrorist linked to the nascent Al Qaeda terrorist organization.