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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘feiglin’

A Nation’s Search For Meaning

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, renowned psychologist Victor Frankel attributed his survival in the death camps to his feeling that his life had meaning. Those who lost that feeling of significance died.

It is not only people who need a sense of meaning; nations also need it – particularly the nation of Israel.

The search for meaning was the undercurrent that inspired last week’s elections. It wasn’t the economy or security. It certainly wasn’t the universal draft issue.

“Zionism has nothing to do with religion,” declared the First Zionist Congress. In a way, the Congress was right. Religion suits the community or family structure. It is a type of mobile Judaism that can be packed into one’s knapsack after the inevitable pogrom. Return to sovereign statehood requires much more than religion: It requires a return to an all-inclusive Jewish culture.

What content has filled the renewal of Zion in our days? We all know that without some common vision, society disintegrates. What meaning will there be to our national renaissance without the foundations of our shared faith?

All the debates at the start of Zionism revolved around that question. The Socialists won in a knockout. It was the Labor Party that presided over the establishment of the state of Israel and led it until the mid-‘70s. The Right never put forth an alternative vision. It adhered to the practical aspects of Zionism – settlement and security – without ever attempting to infuse meaning into its actions. Socialism collapsed along with the Soviet Union in the ‘80s, and when the Left was elected to lead Israel in the ‘90s, it rode the wave of “international brotherhood” alone. The socialist vision was replaced with the peace vision.

Twenty years later, we are at the end of the Oslo era. Israeli society has suffered a bloody awakening from the peace illusion, the public arena is void of any vision, and our national soul thirsts for meaning. It turns out that our national existence has no meaning if it is detached from its foundations in Jewish identity and faith – interwoven with modernity.

The Likud – the nationalist party with the glorious history, Jabotinsky’s teachings, and the popular connection to Jewish tradition – has all that it needs to infuse our society with meaning. But all of those important components were tucked out of sight in last week’s elections. The fact that the Likud did not even publicize its platform was no mistake: “We’re going to win anyway, so why get into arguments?” was the dubious logic behind that decision. And the nationalist ruling party turned itself into a party of suit-wearers with a negative campaign and no message or meaning.

On both sides of the Likud, parties that proposed a new agenda flourished. They have not yet infused their messages with real meaning, but at least one of them, Jewish Home, provided the scent of Jewish content as it quickly climbed to a projected 18 seats in the polls (it won 12 seats in the elections) – almost half of its support coming from non-observant voters.

Initially, the public was surprised when polls showed that a large number of voters were debating between Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid. Likud consultants expected the base attack on the Jewish Home to bring six secular mandates back to the Likud – but that didn’t happen. The Likud, which had fled from its own message and did not provide society with any type of meaning, did not garner those votes. If the Jewish agenda was suddenly unacceptable, those voters could easily vote for lack of meaning in more attractive packaging. No need to go back to voting for the lack of meaning offered by the old suits.

That is how Lapid’s party became the second largest party in Israel, while the Likud found itself shrunk and hunkering down between two fresh-faced parties advocating a new national agenda: one a civil agenda, and the other a Jewish-oriented agenda. Neither party provides meaning at this point. They are both too preoccupied with the “how” and not the “why” or “to where.”

If we in the Likud will understand the deep reason for our party’s decline; if we will refresh our ranks and provide the public with a new vision and a national answer to the “why” and “to where” – we will retrieve the votes that went to our younger sisters, and continue to securely lead Israel with our national vision.

The Temple as Political Satire on Eretz Nehederet

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The Eretz Nehedert satire program decided the best way to knock the Right was to have the Temple as a back drop and Ayelet Shaked draped over the Ark of the Covenant with Miri Regev, Tzipi Hotovely, Moshe Feiglin and others gathered around.

‘Yair Lapid’, asked by Bibi if he didn’t mind the Temple service, said, “sure, why not have a barbeque”.

Another screen shot:

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the Temple becoming a central element in  the public discourse.

Visit My Right Word.

Voting for Bennett Is Sectoral, for Likud National

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

It is amazing to see how the same people can be deceived time and again.

The two new stars of the Jewish Home Party, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked – both fine and worthy people – were preparing themselves to run for a place on the Likud Knesset list. This time, though, the competition for a realistic place on the list was very tight. It was clear that the chances to get on the national list were slim. And so the well-orchestrated political exit of Bennett and Shaked – wrapped in Manhigut Yehudit terminology – was born. Their move, however, was the complete opposite of Manhigut Yehudit’s ideology. It was a patently sectoral move.

The struggle for the votes of the religious Zionists currently revolves around two parameters: Who will give more to the sector and who will better protect the land of Israel. Both of these parameters are an illusion. They divert the discussion to an irrelevant place and deflect attention from the main point of the debate. In both parameters, the advantage of a significant faith-based power base within the ruling party is clear and unequivocal. It has also proven itself well in the reality of the last four years. Real power cannot be acquired without the true integration that was expressed in the recent Likud primaries.

Why does the education minister send all Israeli students to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron? Because of the members of the Jewish Home Party? Why does the transportation minister pave every road he can in Judea and Samaria? Because of Jewish Home MK Uri Orbach?

The above discussion is really nothing more than a smokescreen. If someone thinks that he can get more for his sector with the services of a sectoral middleman instead of with a direct and binding connection with the relevant minister – so be it. Whoever thinks that he can better protect the land of Israel from within a satellite party that is already committed to joining a coalition with the ruling party – and that has no other option – can go right ahead. Whoever has forgotten where the Jewish Home’s predecessor, the Mafdal, with its 12 mandates, was during the destruction of Sinai; how the Mafdal minister defused the political option for preventing the destruction of Gush Katif; how the Yesha Council – from where the current head of the Bayit Hayehudi came – sidelined an effective struggle against the destruction; and whoever has forgotten the entire sad history of sectoral politics, is invited to once again enjoy himself in the sectoral backyard.

The real discussion, however, revolves around a completely different point.

In a panel discussion at the Nechalim Yeshiva, Orbach asked me who would ensure that the next chief rabbi would be a Zionist – the Likud or the Mafdal? This question perfectly illuminates the two paths open now before the religious Zionist public. What is your dream? What is really important to you? A chief rabbi who sees eye to eye with you on the issues? Or a prime minister who believes in what you believe? All the other questions – like where you will get more funding (I think the answer is the Likud) – are irrelevant.

Look at yourself in the mirror and answer honestly – and then vote. But no putting your head in the sand, no buying the line that a new, improved Mafdal middleman with a secular fig leaf has suddenly morphed into the Likud and will lead the country. Ask yourself this question: What is your dream? Then choose between these next two questions: Is it leadership of the country like you were supposed to have been taught over the years? Or is it the comfort and familiarity of your sector?

What do you prefer, the chief rabbi or the prime minister? Do you believe that you have something other than religion to offer Israeli society? What is the relevance of your Torah outside your closed communities? What do you communicate about yourselves and your beliefs when you flee the Israeli reality for the fenced-in sector? What message do you project when you are afraid to present Israeli society with a leadership alternative based on your beliefs?

Naftali Bennett and the Mafdal’s Last Hurrah

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Those of us who really believe Moshe Feiglin can and will lead Israel and the Jewish Nation to liberty by becoming Prime Minister have this refrain. We always say that we’re not trying to lead the Dati Leumi, or the Religious Zionist sector. We are not a sector, we do not believe in sectors, and we try to speak to the Jewish nation qua nation and leave sectors aside. We want to lead everyone and free everyone. Not lead a sector and try to cut off a hunk of publicly funded steak and bring it home to a ravenous constituency starved for tax-funded whatevers.

But even those of us with our eye on the ball sometimes lose focus for a second and get sucked back into the “sector” that we supposedly “came from,” which in most cases is the Religious Zionist sector, the srugim, or whatever you want to call them.

We see in the polls that Naftali Bennett has totally revived the old Mafdal. He’s a new exciting guy, served in Tzahal as commander of a bunch of important stuff and did heroic things and whatnot just like Ehud Barak of the new up-and-coming then out-and-going Atzmaut (literally, “Forget Labor”) Party. He was a highly successful career man and made a skrillion dollars just like Yair Lapid of the new up-and-coming and soon to be out-and-going Yesh Lapid (literally “There is Lapid”) Party. Or was it two skrillion? I don’t remember exactly. And he can talk oh…soooo…smoothly…in perfect American English…with a perfect American accent…that’s so seductive…just like…

Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mafdal, or Bayit Yehudi, or whatever you want to call it, might get a bunch of seats. Maybe 10. Maybe 15. Maybe 20. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. Why? Because Naftali Bennett is nothing but a new Netanyahu with a kippah on. He has no conviction about anything but he can talk as if he almost does. For example, he can say contradictory things like, “A soldier should never have to choose between expelling a human being from his home and disobeying orders,” and then end it with, “A soldier should never disobey orders under any circumstances,” and state both mutually contradictory statements together with the same conviction, thereby effectively saying absolutely nothing, but making people think he has.

And then, as if he didn’t contradict himself at all, he’ll go on in the very next sentence and challenge his twin, Benjamin Netanyahu, to state publicly if he plans on expelling people from their homes again or not, as if trying to fork another politician will take the attention away from the fact that he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too as well. Well, Bennett, my little Bibi with a Kippah, if he does, what will you do? All you’ve told us is you hope it won’t happen. But what will you do? Support private property or support immoral orders?

Bennett’s long term plan is genius. Get this: He wants to wait for the Arabs to “calm down”. Of course this isn’t what Israel has already been doing since Oslo. Inspiring. That’s it! They have to “calm down”! Why didn’t we think of this before! When I think of Jewish History and our job on this planet and the reason we came back to Israel after millenia of exile, I think of Arabs “calming down,” and when I picture calm Arabs, I get this kind of religious messianic zeal. Thanks Bennett. You have a very nice kippah and a cool buzz cut.

And his slogan: “Something new is beginning.” Yes, something new indeed. Bibi now has a kippah. That’s new. And the new Bibi  says right wing sounding rhetoric without committing to any actual positions and wants to wait things out until the Arabs “calm down”. New Indeed.

Now, back to why it makes absolutely no difference how many seats the Mafdal gets. It doesn’t matter because the only interesting thing that is going to come out of this Knesset will be the Knesset speeches and Knesset actions of Moshe Feiglin from within the Likud slate. He’s going to be in the Knesset. Nothing can stop that. Likud isn’t going down to 20 seats under any circumstances. From that podium, from that pulpit, Feiglin will speak about liberty and Jewish values and Jewish leadership. And the Jewish Nation will listen. And he’ll say actual things that don’t contradict themselves. And when Netanyahu tries to do something stupid, he will fight tooth and nail and probably get sanctioned in some way or another, and he won’t be invited into Bibi’s little circle, and if he is named as a Minister he may get fired, and if he doesn’t get fired and Bibi tries to expel someone from their home, he’ll resign, and it’ll be great.

Israel Won’t Attack

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

“You chose disgrace instead of war; you got disgrace and war as well.” (Winston Churchill after the Munich Accords).

Somehow, the common question in Israel today is whether the prime minister has the right to decide to attack Iran. “He has the chutzpah to think that he can decide,” former Supreme Court justice Eliyahu Winograd more or less pontificated, capturing all of the major news outlets’ headlines.

There is only one person who has the right to decide on the Iran issue, and that is the prime minister. It makes no difference at all how he makes the decision, whether by consulting with ministers, advisers or the military top brass – or by plain intuition. The state exists to protect its citizens. Accordingly, the citizens vote for the person who will lead them. They deposit in his hands – in his hands only – that authority and responsibility.

Don’t worry, though. Israel will not attack Iran. For the past two years I have repeatedly written and warned about, and met with senior ministers, in an attempt to explain that the concept of a united international front against Iran is a strategic error. The greatest danger is not the nuclear bomb, but rather Iran’s declared intention to destroy Israel. If Israel doesn’t attack Iran, it reinforces the world’s impression that once again the Jew must pay for the right to live in this world. We are back to the 30s and Hitler’s vicious speeches. The sands in the hourglass of our right to exist are running out. It is no coincidence that Israel’s loss of legitimacy and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declarations parallel each other.

The time to deal with the breach in the dam is when the crack is detected – not when the water surges through. Now, with the question mark over our right to exist hovering over our heads, it is only a matter of history presenting the opportunity for the next diabolical despot – be it Ahmadinejad or any other leader – to carry out his nefarious plans. The principle that allowed the Holocaust to unfold in the early 1940s was determined in the speeches in the Reichstag in the early 1930s. The State of Israel was established to avoid a repeat of the same situation. Its lack of a practical response to Ahmadinejad’s speeches is a betrayal of the purpose of its existence.

Initially, the world expected us to attack Iran immediately. After all, for the past 60 years we have been dragging every visiting diplomat to the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem. It was a given that Israel would not sit idly by in the face of such blatant threats. But in no time, it turned out that all we were saying to the world was: “Have mercy on us, accept us.” We were not saying, “Be careful of us.” When Israel made the U.S. responsible for its wellbeing, the tables turned. Now, when we face a very tangible threat, the world is willing to only have pity on us.

The situation today is reminiscent of the buildup to the Six-Day War. Then, as well, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol expected President Lyndon Johnson to make good on America’s commitment to Israel after it retreated from the Sinai, promising to intervene if the Straits of Tiran were blocked. There was no “red line.” The line had already been delineated years before. “I can’t find my copy of the document,” Johnson said to Eshkol. Now, Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to force the copy out of President Obama. But he will never find it.

There is a huge difference between then and now. Eshkol had an army eager to fight. He had officers, not politicians in uniform. And he had a citizenry that hurried to dig trenches in the parks; it had not yet been brainwashed by the irresponsible, defeatist media.

As usual, Israel is attempting to solve its strategic problem with a media spin about super weapons that the U.S. may be kind enough to give us – more as a ladder with which to climb down from the tree of declarations than as a true solution.

The strategy of international pressure puts Israel in a hopeless world situation and against its own noisy left wing. The leftists that smelled the lack of leadership in Israel woke up and began protesting. In light of the current situation, the chances that this government will attack Iran are nearly zero. A different Israeli government will have to deal with both the war and the disgrace.

The New Challenge

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Two weeks ago, in my weekly column on the NRG website, I wrote, “Nobody really understands why Israel is going to early elections.” So when I heard that the election merry-go-round had been cancelled, I was pleased.

True, the cancellation comes at the price of incorporating Kadimah into the government coalition. Kadimah is an unsavory, redundant party. But if this is the price Prime Minister Netanyahu feels he must pay to preserve stability and governmental continuity for four full years, I can certainly understand. If this brilliant move will bring about a change in the substandard governing culture in Israel, a culture that dictates that the average government in Israel lasts less than three years, then we have all gained a very important and fundamental norm.

The problem with brilliant moves, though, is that they are like floor tiles: The more brilliant they are, the easier it is to slip and break your head.

The power that the government will now have will allow it to make and carry out decisions in a responsible and measured manner without feeling pressured to dance to the drums of the media and the leftist chorus. Two major landmines are now at the new government’s doorstep. In both cases, logic, wisdom and justice are on one side, and media populism is on the other. This can be a great opportunity to do the right thing, or a great temptation to be swept away in populism’s murky stream. The ball is now at the mountain peak. Netanyahu and his new political partner, Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, will decide in which direction it will roll.

The two major issues on the table are the threatened destruction of the Ulpana Hill neighborhood of Beit El and the drafting into the army of the ultra-Orthodox. It is easy enough to understand that if the corrupt Holyland project was not demolished – and certainly not the tens of thousands of illegal Arab homes that nobody dares to touch – there is no reason in the world to destroy the Ulpana Hill neighborhood. The unity government can legislate a solution to the problem and easily absorb the ranting of the leftist chorus and its offshoots that will look on in dismay, as the victims of its planned destruction are snatched from its clutches.

On the haredi draft issue, reality shows that the haredi demand for appropriate enlistment frameworks is on the rise and has already outpaced the supply that the IDF can provide. This trend will continue, as it is impossible to stop it. It is just a matter of creating more and more appropriate frameworks in which the ultra-Orthodox can serve while maintaining their religious observance standards. Actually, there is only one thing that can stop this positive trend: mandatory draft into the current military frameworks, which the haredi community sees as anti-religious coercion. Whoever wants to be sure that the haredim will not enlist should go with the populist option.

These are the new government’s challenges. On one hand, it has all the opportunities; on the other, it is in danger of falling fast and hard. It can succeed and glorify the State of Israel and the Likud, or it can slide and break its head. Just look at what happened to Ariel Sharon and Kadima.

We’re All Feiglinists, Especially Feiglin

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

On Saturday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak mocked two Likud ministers who criticized his plan to proceed with the evacuation and demolition of Ulpana Hill. His office released a statement saying that Ministers “Katz and Ya’alon must have contracted a severe case of ‘Feiglinism,’” adding, “We hope that, for the sake of the public and its elected representatives in the Knesset, it will turn out that this ‘Feiglinism’ isn’t contagious.”

Call the CDC, put the country on lockdown, it appears that at least in the area immediately surrounding the Ulpana Hill neighborhood, everybody has caught a very serious case of the Feiglinism.

One after another, Likud MKs who got up from the podium to speak to the very large crowd of members of the Likud Central Committee who were assembled to show solidarity with the local residents, paid homage to the new term and congratulated Moshe Feiglin, who was sitting right there by the same dais, on his tenacity in upholding the principles of Feiglinism.

JewishPress.com cornered Moshe Feiglin just before the beginning of the meeting and demanded to know his own definition of Feiglinism.

“Loyalty to the Land of Israel,” he answered without flinching. “If someone loyal to Eretz Israel is being accused of Feiglinism, then, thank God, I’ve been blessed with this honor.”

Then we asked what he thought the pragmatic options were for the locals. He became very serious, even grim, instantaneously.

“Look, I’m from the Likud,” he began. “We’re making every effort to forge a united front within the Likud against this insane plan to demolish a settlement in Eretz Israel. Regarding what to local residents will do – you should ask them. I’ve reiterated in several articles that it is prohibited to leave this place.”

We asked if he thought this time around Prime Minister Netanyahu, whom Feiglin had challenged several times for the party leadership, was on the side of the angels.

“I don’t know, I hope very much that he will be,” said Feiglin.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/politics/were-all-feiglinists-especially-feiglin/2012/04/23/

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