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May 6, 2015 / 17 Iyar, 5775
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The ‘This Is Their Land’ Mentality

Feiglin-Moshe

The ritual of rockets that periodically pummel Israel’s southern communities includes numerous media interviews with the important people. The journalists attempt to extract from anybody who thinks he is somebody some piece of a resolution for this crazy situation that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.

The first to express himself during last week’s round of rocket fire was President Shimon Peres, who, during a visit to the north, expressed his anger at the situation in the south. “We haven’t seen Shimon Peres this angry in a long time,” the reporter noted.

After Peres came Yair Lapid, a candidate for the premiership: “What is the solution?” asked the reporter. “We must coordinate all the public relations bureaus,” Lapid answered, hurrying to steer the discussion to the topic of his expertise. “I would coordinate all the public relations in the Foreign Ministry.”

Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich spoke eloquently – but said nothing memorable. Former defense minister Amir Peretz said that we must build more protective shelters. A security expert jabbered with self-importance, leaving me confused. Eventually I gave up and put on a music station.

A simple truth is hiding behind the cacophony of non-solutions: those responsible for the debacle cannot fix it.

In the mid-90s (the Oslo era) Israel’s “This is our land” mentality switched to “This is their land.” A large swath of influential people in the fields of the arts, communications, politics, security, justice and media are responsible for the transformation. They built their careers on the Oslo era and cannot go back to the pre-Oslo days of “This is our land.”

That is why there is no solution to the missiles screeching into southern Israel from Gaza.

In the “This is our land” days, famous Zionist icon Abba Kovner explained the imperative to conquer Gaza. Kovner did not talk about eliminating terror; he talked about victory. Victory is impossible without moral resolve. Those who want to solve today’s missile problem would be well advised to read Kovner’s battle order, written for IDF troops as they prepared for battle in the 1956 Sinai War: “The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.”

The lesson: no containment and no control over the height of the flames, and none of the other anti-army, pseudo-intellectual discourse that dominates the army today. An army must strive for one thing only: victory.

After some words of encouragement, Kovner explains: “Gaza: a living organ torn from the body of the State of Israel.” Kovner takes a moral stance: Gaza is ours!

He continues: “A clenched fist is hovering over the state, a base for the murderous Egyptians,” Kovner says, referring to the security threat to the state.

At the very end of the battle order Kovner mentions the only claim that is being made today, namely the suffering of the people. His portrayal: “Nachal Oz, Be’eri, Kissufim, Nirim – a chain of flourishing settlements facing a hostile border.”

Kovner says, “Fighters smite the enemy…. Smite him again and again.”

He sums up: “The enemy will be destroyed by the sword of the division fighters. Forward to battle and to victory!”

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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