Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Note to readers: A few weeks ago, Moshe Silman set himself alight at a so-called social justice protest. He was in debt to Israel’s Institute for Social Justice (the state’s social security agency), and his truck, the means of his livelihood, was confiscated by the agency as a result. Silman eventually died of his wounds, but the debate over social justice rages on in Israel.
More than any other reason, “social justice” killed Moshe Silman. Here’s why: Who confiscated his truck and for what purpose? Social security. After all, what is social security, if not the mechanism established by the state to ensure so-called social justice? It is an institution authorized to take from the “haves” and give to the “have-nots.” And from whom will the Institute for Social Justice take if not from the owner of a moving company? And to whom will it give the value of the truck? To the tycoons? Of course not. It will give the truck’s value to the have-nots, or to those who know how to hide what they have.
The story of the Institute for Social Justice and the truck of the “tycoon,” Moshe Silman, is the precise story of socialism. It is a flashing warning sign for everyone who has fallen captive to the charms of the social justice movement.
They want many more institutions for social justice and many more Moshe Silmans, from whom these institutions can confiscate the victims’ only source of livelihood. Most important of all, they want many more poor people who will justify the existence of more and more institutes for social justice. They desire for Israel to turn into one big commune – and be finished with it.
When tycoon Arcadi Gaydamak erected a tent city for the victims of Ehud Olmert’s War of Convergence, then “social” defense minister, Amir Peretz, bellowed this at him: “We will not let you take over our poverty!”
Poverty is an asset. Public outrage over it can be directed at those who open businesses, produce jobs (and income), and pay taxes. Then more and more social justice mechanisms can be established. More and more income-producing property is stolen from more and more Moshe Silmans, poverty is translated into political fortune, and the new social justice warriors are born. The productive segment of society shrinks, poverty grows, and those with the means to produce more income look to invest in markets that boast more freedom. The economic ship falls over on its side, is inundated with the poison of legalized robbery, namely socialism (or in its purer form, communism), and begins to sink.
The social justice protesters are right about the fact that most of the money in Israel is concentrated in the hands of just a few monopolies. The price of housing is sky-high, food is unjustifiably expensive, and the salary gap between rich and poor is second only to that of the U.S. But the solution for this illness is just the opposite of the centralization that the social protesters demand.
The solution is to allocate Israel’s land to the public and close Israel’s Land Authority; privatize the Water Company, Electric Company and banks – its assets not to big business but straight into the public’s bank accounts. Social security, like a car insurance company, should work like a commercial firm.
The economic strain is real. But its roots are in a completely different place. Moshe Silman was a man without a family or community. The socialists who led Israel when it was founded erased the institution called “community,” turning Israel into one big community. As a result, the individual has become very lonely, bereft of the buttressed walls of community that the largely religious public still enjoys.
Over the past 15 years, the institution called “family” has also been diminished. No longer is it politically correct to note that someone is widowed or divorced. Nowadays, they are “single-parent families.” Even a couple of the same gender is considered a family. Everything is family – so nothing is family.
The woman makes the home; the man makes the family. Feminism and homosexuality have eliminated manhood, thereby eliminating the family. The
protesters are searching for family. They are searching for a father figure. With no one to turn to, they turn to the state. Standing there together, the protesters replace the feeling of family – if only for a few fleeting moments. The children stand there in unison, shouting out for Mom and Dad – in this case, the state.
The state cannot replace family and community. But the protesters don’t know anything else. The traditional family has been taken from them, and the state has been empowered in its stead. The dominant elements of the protests do not stem from poverty-stricken areas, but from the heart of Tel Aviv – where there are no more men and no more families.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”
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