Jewish extremist Meir Ettinger goes on hunger strike

Meir Ettinger, grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, seen in court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Aug. 4, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Meir Ettinger, grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, seen in court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Aug. 4, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A right wing Jewish extremist, who has been held in administrative detention since August, has gone on a hunger strike to protest his detention.

Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right activist Meir Kahane, was arrested on August 3 and placed in detention on August 15.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein approved the order for a six-month detention issued by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon against Ettinger. The Lod District Court in mid-September upheld the order.

Under administrative detention, which is more commonly used for Palestinian prisoners, one can be held for six months without being charged or tried. The order can be renewed indefinitely.

Israeli authorities believe Ettinger oversees a Jewish terrorist group. He was arrested for “involvement in violent activities and terrorist attacks that occurred recently, and his role as part of a Jewish terrorist group,” and his arrest was linked to the firebombing of a home in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma that left an infant and his parents dead. Three people, including two minors, have been charged in connection with that attack.

Shin Bet officials have said Ettinger heads a movement that also was responsible for the June arson of the historic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and seeks to bring down the government and replace it with a Jewish theocracy.

Ettinger reportedly was recently transferred to solitary confinement and has limited, monitored contact with his family.

Ettinger does not have American citizenship. His mother, Tova, Kahane’s daughter, made aliyah from the United States.

1 Comment

  1. Libby Kahane says

    The imprisonment of my grandson Meir Ettinger brings back difficult memories for me. I don’t know how many people remember that my late husband Rabbi Meir Kahane, zt”l was jailed under those same despicable administrative detention orders in May 1980.

    An administrative detention order deprives a person of his basic rights. He can be held for six months without being charged or tried and the order can be renewed indefinitely.

    If there were any evidence that my grandson Meir committed a crime, he should be put on trial on in open court. He has not been tried in court because he has not committed any crime.

    What he has done is not considered a crime in any democratic country. He expressed unpopular views in a blog he wrote on the Hebrew website “Hakol Hayehudi.” Simply put, the powers-that-be don’t like the way he thinks. When his case came to court for reviewed after his first three months in prison, the judge ordered his imprisonment continued. The reason he gave was that Meir had not changed his views. The Honenu lawyer said, “If the judge wants him to change his opinions, he can send him to Korea, there they know how to make people change their opinions.

    The administrative order imprisoning Meir can be renewed by the simple signature of the Minister of Defense for another six months, and another and another – life imprisonment by installments.

    Is Israel turning into a totalitarian state? What is happening to our beloved Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East?

    With two weeks left of the six months decreed by the Minister of Defense Yaalon, my grandson Meir began a hunger strike on Wednesday, January 20. I hope and pray it will succeed in touching the hearts of the powers that be, but I am concerned about the harm to his health

    Please plead for Meir Ettinger’s immediate freedom. It takes only the signature of the Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon to decide Meir’s future: Send emails and faxes to Minister Yaakon, Fax: 972-2-5303506. Email:

    Your pleas to the to Prime Minister and the President will help too:
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Fax 972-2-6703398. Email: pm
    President Reuven Rivlin. Fax: 972-2-588-7225. Email:

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