'I'm no terrorist - why ban me from UK?', asks Mike

ISRAELI Mike Guzofsky was described by the Home Office last month as a terrorist - and was banned from entering Britain.

But American-born Guzofsky refutes the claim wholeheartedly.

"It is a moral outrage and a bizarre decision," he told me.

"The British government was just trying to show that they are even-handed.

"They do not have a shortage of Muslim terrorists, but they needed a Jewish scapegoat.

"They thought, 'Let's pluck a Jew to put on the list'.

"My name has been put alongside heinous terrorists who support the destruction of Israel and annihilation of the Jews."

Guzofsky was accused of supporting the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and of glorifying Baruch Goldstein's murder of 29 Arabs in Hebron in 1994.

Raised in the New York borough of Queens, Guzofsky said: "Jewish terrorism is a fictitious concept.

"We do not have Jewish terrorists running around the world blowing people up.

" I never supported Rabin's murder - I said a few weeks before he died that he should be put on trial for treason."

He was also accused of running Jewish militant camps - something else he denies.

He fumed: "I was involved in running Jewish camps in America where we encouraged young Jews to find their Jewish pride.

"Nothing which took place there was illegal."

Guzofsky, who revealed he was planning to sue Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, also slammed British Jewish leaders who allegedly spoke out against him.

"Rather than align themselves with their fellow Jew, they aligned themselves with our enemies."

Born into an Orthodox family, the 45-year-old first became involved with Jewish activism during the late 1970s when a relative introduced him to the Jewish Defence League.

Founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1968, the JDL's original aim was to protect Jewish people and their interests in America.

Guzofsky recalled: "In the late 1960s, Jews were starting to leave the poorer areas of New York City and moving to the more upmarket areas.

"Rabbi Kahane was the editor of The Jewish Press in Brooklyn, and he started to receive calls from besieged, poor, elderly Jews who were being targeted by other ethnic groups.

"The police were unwilling to help and so it became a necessity that we help other Jews."

A disciple of Kahane, who was assassinated by an Egyptian Arab in 1990, he feels that there are not nearly enough Jewish militant groups.

Guzofsky explained: "We need more strong Jews.

"Kahane set out to change the image of the weak Jew - it is not a mitzvah to lose, it is a mitzvah to win.

"Kahane always said it is better to be hated by the world and alive than loved by the world in and in Auschwitz."

Now living in Kfar Tapuach on the West Bank, Guzofsky moved to Israel in the early 1980s.

Kfar Tapuach, near Hebron, has been home to many Kahanists over the years.

Guzofsky said: "I do not call where I live the West Bank - I call it Israel. Hebron is Jewish.

"Abraham pitched his tent in Hebron, not in Tel Aviv."

Guzofsky believes it is a "halachic imperative" that Jews should live in Israel.

He explained: "If we as Jews are to survive, then we must all be in Israel.

"There is no future for the Jews in exile - we are witnessing the alienation and assimilation of the Jews."

He points to last week's events in America, where four Muslims were suspected of planning to blow up two synagogues in New York.

"New York is the heart of the Jewish Diaspora yet we are not safe there either," he added.

Guzofsky, who is a member of the Kfar Pituach Municipal Council, does not like to divulge too much about his private life, but revealed his "day-job" is working in Internet marketing.

Divorced, he has three children, two of whom live in Israel while the other one is in America.

And he preferred not to give their names.

His main bete noire, as would be expected from a Jewish activist, is the rise of fundamentalist Islam, as well as the high-birth rate among the Arabs in Israel.

Of Barack Obama, Guzofsky said: "I would be very worried if I was a Jew living in America.

"He may be really popular, but Obama has still to explain his connections to (Nation of Islam) leader Louis Farrakhan and the Rev Jermaine Wright (who has been accused of antisemitism)."

And Guzofsky believes any Arabs in Israel who do not pledge allegiance to the Jewish state should be given the opportunity to leave.

He continued: "Those who want to live under Jewish sovereignty, fine, but - judging from their behaviour - they do not want peace.

"The Arabs in Israel are a fifth column, they know that.

"They have 20 states of their own surrounding us. Do not forget that Jordan is a bastard state of the Palestinians - 70 per cent of its population is Palestinian.

"Most Arabs support the replacement of the State of Israel with Palestine, and that is perfectly understandable from their point of view.

"They dream of the day it will happen, either though babies because of the high birthrate, or through bombs."

He is happy to be called a militant and believes that Jews should use any form to survive.

Many people may think these are just the words of a lunatic fringe element, but the far-right is growing in Israel, mainly because of the large number of perceived concessions the Israeli government has given the Palestinians.

Guzofsky said: "We need to learn from the Holocaust - we do not appease people who seek to kill Jews.

"These people include (Iranian President) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas.

"Israel should bomb Iran and do whatever is necessary - even nuke them.

"Make no mistake, I believe Ahmadinejad is another Hitler - his goal is the destruction of the Jews."

Kach, the political party of Kahane, is banned in both Israel and America, something which Guzofsky cannot fathom.

He added: "We have been declared a terrorist organisation, but we just want to restore the biblical borders of Israel.

"I support that kind of peace, not the false peace processes that have been signed over the last few years."

Guzofsky does not trust new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Netanyahu has no backbone - he does not have the type of faith required to stand up to US pressure regarding the Palestinians," he warned.

Despite labelling himself a militant, Guzofsky insists he is simply a proud Jew who wants other Jews to feel the same.

He said: "We need to build a stronger Jewish identity in Israel and we need to be proud of who we are.

"But only when we return to our faith in God will that follow."

One of Guzofsky's main wishes is to see the Jews "stick to their destiny".

Otherwise, he stated, "we will see more destruction of Jewish land like in Gaza and that could lead to the destruction of a Jewish Jerusalem".

He added: "Pulling out of Gaza in 2005 was a horrible act of self-destruction that led to the deaths of many Jews.

"God willing, we will return there."

© 2009 Jewish Telegraph