To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Honorable representatives of the nations,
I chose to come here today to tell you the truth. Since the miraculous war in which the God of Israel led us to redeem Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and Israeli territory until the Jordan River, a strange costume ball has been taking place in this building.
The Jews come to the ball masked as Israelis, the Arabs come masked as Palestinians, and everyone talks about a land that does not exist and never did: Palestine.
As the recent holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the day when the Jewish nation declares the Kingship of the Creator over themselves and the entire world, is still fresh in the minds of the Jewish people, I have chosen this time to remove the masks.
Beneath the Israeli mask is the Jewish nation that went out of Egypt, received the Torah at Sinai and heralded the message of liberty to all humanity. The Israelis are those same Jews who traversed the lands of Pharaohs, the Babylonians, the Chaldeans and the Greeks, the Romans and the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the British and the Germans. All of those nations swept onto history’s stage and waged war against the eternal nation chosen by the Creator to bring His message to the world. All of them faded away, while the Jewish nation is not only still here, but has wondrously returned from all its exiles and hardships and has gathered in its holy land, just as the prophets had foretold. From its land, the Jewish nation will establish an exemplary, moral society and will fulfill its historic destiny.
Please forgive me for ruining the costume ball, but the time has come to remove the Palestinian mask. There is not and has never been a Palestinian “nation.” Can anybody here point to Palestinian history, a Palestinian archeological site, or the name of a Palestinian scholar from the 19th century?
Please allow me to quote the most precise definition for the essence of the conflict. It is a definition once pronounced from this very platform by the former British foreign minister, Mr. Ernest Bevin, in February 1947.
“For the Jews the essential point is the creation of a Jewish state; for the Arabs the essential point is to resist a Jewish state.”
There is not and there will not be a Palestinian state. There are Jews who are returning to our land, and there are Arabs whose entire purpose is to prevent a Jewish foothold in any part of the Land of Israel.
The Arab and international demand for Israel to retreat was fully implemented six years ago in the Gaza Strip. We could have expected that when Israel carried out precisely what the world had demanded of it for years, its international standing would have improved. We would have expected international anti-Semitism to dissipate and for the Arabs to respond quickly and positively to accelerated serious negotiations for a permanent peace treaty.
But just the opposite happened. Approximately one half of Israel’s population – in the north and south – was targeted by rocket terror attacks. A more serious threat accompanied the physical threat: a vicious international attack on Israel’s legitimate right to exist.
But this cannot continue, ladies and gentlemen. This false costume ball, for which the United Nations provides center stage, will not go on. We will no longer take part in it. Practically speaking, we will not oppose the Palestinian proposal – because we will simply not be here.
The Jews have returned to their land to herald the message of Divine liberty for all humanity. From now on, we will focus on our historic goal: to facilitate the moral redemption and wellbeing of all humanity.
If the Arabs who live in the land, to which the God of our forefathers lovingly returned us, desire peace, they are welcome to choose between the following options: Either they can fully recognize Jewish sovereignty over the land and declare their loyalty to the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish nation, or they can realize their national aspirations in any one of the 22 Arab nations that surround them. Any other decision is a declaration of war.
I turn from here to all the civilized nations, to the good majority of humanity represented by a minority in this house: Remember God’s blessing to Abraham: “And I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.”
The way that you relate to God’s chosen nation will determine if you will merit His blessing or His curse.
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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