Give New Leadership a Chance
February 25, 2007
Many years ago, following the election of Rabin, when Oslo was still in pre-diapers, and people were looking at each other, in shock, with fear and huge question marks in their eyes, the most common question was: what do we do now.
I remember town meetings, clandestine gatherings, and more than anything else, words. Lots and lots of words. Talk is cheap, it relieves tension, and seems to be a good way to ‘virtually’ solve problems. If nothing else, talk is a good way to rid yourself of built-up frustrations.
But not everyone talked. I remember the first genuine activity against the Rabin-Peres plans to expel us from our land. What’s the best answer to planned expulsion? Of course, expansion.
A new group had popped up out of nowhere called Zu Artzenu. I clearly remember a meeting at a hotel in Jerusalem, where the talk wasn’t theoretical. These guys were organized, had a specific agenda and weren’t talking doubletalk. It was impressive.
Those guys, as I recall were two: Moshe Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett. I have no recollection of them, at that time, but their first national project, called “Mivtza Machpil” called for expanding all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Not kept a secret, the operation was looked upon by ‘the authorities’ as a test case: how would they react to organized groups opposing the expulsion policies of Rabin-Peres? I do recall, one cold night, telling my wife that I was going out for a little while to participate in the first Mivtza Machpil operation, in Kiryat Arba. It was a few days before I arrived back home, having later been arrested with a few dozen others, for daring to sit in an abandoned shack within the municipal boundary of Kiryat Arba, but outside the community fence.
I have no idea how many communities actually doubled themselves, but clearly, Mitvtza Machpil was an overwhelming success. Like a foghorn across a zero-visibility sea, the operation screamed out loud and clear: we will not sit back and do nothing as building is outlawed and our land is dismantled.
Zu Artzenu continued planning and implementing other national protests, including a sit-down strike which was to paralyze the state of Israel. For this magnificent show of civil disobedience, Feiglin and Sackett were tried and convicted for sedition. Anyone who still had any illusions of democracy – Rabin-Peres style, were in for a surprise.
Despite their newly labeled, dangerous criminal status, Feiglin and Sackett didn’t despair. Such individuals are far from trivial emotions like hopelessness. Just as Zu Artzenu was uniquely impressive and creative, they decided to continue forward. In 1998 they founded Manigut Yehudit, which means “Jewish Leadership.” Not the kind of leadership Israel had so long been faced with, but true Jewish leadership, pillared upon Torah and Eretz Yisrael, the fear of G-d, and appreciation and acknowledgement of the Divine sanctity of our homeland. Feiglin continued to surprise, this time, not by going the way of the world and forming a new political party. Rather he, together with Sackett, decided to become a faction within the already existing Likud, with the hope and expectation to ‘capture’ the party; to create a solid majority of normal, healthy Israelis who realized that peace was preconditioned on one firm fact: Eretz Yisrael belongs to Am Yisrael the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people – period. As Manigut Yehudit affirms: ‘the state of Jews must be transformed into a Jewish State.’
A few months ago I authored an article in which I stated that only one political figure in the Likud could possibly be trusted to be Prime Minister. I made a mistake. Because the man I named was not Moshe Feiglin. And it should have been.
Anyone with eyes in their head, taking a good look around at current events in Israel, cannot help but be blinded. Blinded by absurdity, stupidity, and disgust. The leaders of the Gush Katif expulsion are falling, one by one, like dominos standing in a row. The deteriorating security in southern Israel is clearly the result of the fall of Gush Katif. Yet the so-called Defense Minister has again declared that the answer to Israel’s problems is continued expulsions – this time from – ‘illegal hilltop settlements.’ The Prime Minister refuses to look the Israeli population in the eye and admit the errors of his ways. Rather, his excuse for postponing the ‘hitconsut’ or expulsion plan number two, which plans on abandoning almost all of Judea and Samaria, is politically motivated. There is no realization that Eretz Yisrael has to remain in Jewish hands.
This morning the Israeli cabinet was to hear an intelligence briefing concerning the security outlook for the next year. What country in the world would allow the details of such an ‘intelligence briefing’ to be broadcast on public radio, and even before it was presented to the nation’s ministers. Why should Israeli radio broadcast the intelligence briefing’s conclusions that ‘war in the north is not expected this year.’ Why broadcast such analysis to our enemies, loud and clear. Total stupidity.
And of course, let’s not forget the corruption investigations against so many of the Israeli top brass.
There is much more. Media, education, economics, but I think the message is clear. Israel is not in need of a new political party. It is in need of a new kind of leadership, and a new type of leader. At the current time, I have become convinced that the only person who represents such leadership is Moshe Feiglin.
Is he perfect? Probably not. But then again, nobody is. However the fundamentals upon which he bases, not only his beliefs, but also his actions, are authentic. He is the farthest thing alive from the original sin of almost all politicians: he cannot be bought. For if he could be bought, he would have either: formed a separate party, or would have joined forces with other breakaways, or, he would have found a way to accept a juicy deal with his primary rival for Likud leadership, Bibi Netanyahu.
We have already seen what Netanyahu can do – he caused irreparable harm to Hebron and to all the State of Israel: he met Arafat, he abandoned Hebron and he signed Wye. Why give this man, with his record, a second chance? What has he done to deserve any trust or faith? Nothing. Nothing at all.
A friend of mine has, for years, been trying to get me to register with the Likud thereby allowing me to vote for Moshe Feiglin for party leadership. B’ezrat HaShem, with G-d’s help, that is what I am going to do. Let’s give new, true leadership a chance.