The following is excerpted from the interview that appeared in the July 19th issue of Israel’s Maariv newspaper:
Maariv: What are you really looking for in the Likud? Isn’t the National Union party a more appropriate political home for you?
I am looking for leadership. The National Union party is made up of fine people who are correct on many issues. But our goals are different. They want to influence the government, while I want to lead. Our country is in a state of decay and collapse. The train is speeding toward the abyss, just as I have been warning since the Oslo Accords. I feel that I understand the essence of the problem, and that I must take the steering wheel into my hands.
But you lost the primary. [Benjamin] Netanyahu won. Now what?
I do not see the primary as a loss, but rather as progress. I am sorry that the Likud did not unite after its internal race, as is the norm with other political parties in the democratic world. I am encouraged, though, by the fact that I am getting extremely positive feedback from many Likud members who tell me that, although they did not vote for me in the primary for chairman of the Likud, they definitely want to see me in the Knesset.
Will you be running for the Knesset?
And can you work with Netanyahu?
Certainly. We have enough common ground to do so.
Mr. Feiglin, what is your message to the Israeli public?
I think that we must make the Jewish identity of our state our first priority.
A theocratic state?
Not at all. Israel must be a state that affords its citizens the liberty to express who they really are. I actually oppose religious parties and religious legislation.
So what kind of state are you referring to?
Israel should be a state in which every child in the educational system studies Jewish identity for one-hour daily. Our children should know our history, our land, the Bible and the prayer book. Whether or not they choose to pray from the prayer book is their choice – or that of their parents. But at least they should be familiar with the glorious history and culture that informs who they are today.
And what will you do about the Arabs?
This may surprise you, but the Arabs are not at the top of my list of worries. I am much more worried by the fact that when the Left wins the elections we get leftist policies, and when the Right wins the elections, we still get leftist policies. In other words, we do not really enjoy democracy in Israel. Instead, we are controlled by dictatorial powers that are not elected and that represent values that contradict the values of the Jewish majority.
The Left is fanatically anxious to solve the “Arab problem,” so that the Arabs will stop reminding them that they are Jews. This psychosis has accompanied the Jewish people for generations. The Arabs have identified the obsessive need of Israel’s leftist leaders for Arab recognition. This is a tremendous psychological asset that they use to manipulate us. That is why there will be no peace with the Arabs until we make peace with ourselves.
So you are saying that there is no peace because we try to escape [from] our Jewish identity?
Right. As soon as we free ourselves of our identity crisis, we will have peace with our neighbors.
And what should we do in the meantime?
We must stop getting sidetracked by the Arabs and concentrate on the Jews. Israel should give every honorably discharged soldier who wants to get married free land on which to build his home – in the Negev, Galilee, Golan, Judea or Samaria. Every citizen should be able to obtain a broadcasting license and broadcast on both radio and television to his heart’s desire – within the confines of Israel’s security needs and common morality.
Supreme Court justices should be elected by our elected representatives and undergo a Knesset hearing. Israel should have legislative districts, so that Knesset members would have to answer to their own constituencies.
When Israel comes down on the side of liberty and true democracy, it will be free of the identity crisis of the “enlightened elites” that has been plaguing us ever since the state was born. Israel will be a Jewish state for the Jewish people. At that point, we will be able to deal with the challenges facing us – and triumph!
To learn more about Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and their plan for Israel’s future, visit www.jewishisrael.org.