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Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Interview with Moshe Feiglin Via: Arutz Sheva. Men Like Feiglin give me hope during such low point in Israeli politics.
The chairman of the largest united voting bloc within the Likud Central
Committee spoke about efforts to throw him out of the Likud, the problem with
Israel's national religious parties and his confidence in the Jewish people.
Feiglin spoke with Tamar Yonah and Eli Stutz during Israel National
Radio's Weekend Edition:
Tamar Yonah: There are people in the country
who claim to be pro-democracy who are saying that you should not be allowed to
run the next time around. Why don't you tell us about that?
Feiglin: In Israel we have a very special kind of democracy. It is a democracy
for about 7% of the population. It reminds me of the first democracy in
Greece - in Athens - where there was democracy, but only for certain
very small segments of the population. So we have a democracy for opinions
ranging between [far-left parliamentarians] Yossi Beilin and Yossi Sarid, but
not for anyone else. Not only that, but this democracy includes what I am
calling a totalitarianism of ideas. This means you can go vote every four years,
but it's like flipping a coin with the same thing on both sides. You have a
right to flip the coin, but no choice what is on each side. That is the special
kind of democracy we are living in.
Eli Stutz: So Moshe, what is the
progress on those who are trying to prevent you from running to be a member of
MF: So far so good, they have not succeeded, thank G-d. But
even if that will happen, G-d forbid, we already have a number two, a number
three and a number four ready. We are at the point today when good people within
the Likud who share our ideology make up at least 10% of the party. It is their
strength that is making Ariel Sharon very frightened. Ehud Barak said last week
that there is not any form of opposition to Sharon in the Knesset, but that
Manhigut Yehudit - the 'Feiglinites' as he called them constitutes the only real
threat to Sharon.
ES: What's remarkable to me, Moshe, is that the Labor
and Likud parties have found enough in common to form a coalition, yet the
right-wing and religious camp in Israel is so split. We have so much in common,
yet at the same time we just saw Effie Eitam and Yitzchak Levy leave the
National Religious Party to create the Religious Zionism Party. Why is it that
we are so split in the national religious camp?
MF: I will answer that
question on the ideological level if you don't mind. I think the problem with
the religious Zionists, with the 'knitted-kippot' as they say, is that they have
not had the guts to lead - to say, 'We are the next generation of leaders of
Israel.' On the other hand, deep inside, the people of Israel are waiting for us
to lead, because there is no other sector who has the abilities that we have -
meaning Zionism on one hand and a real Jewish faith on the other hand - a
combination of them both. When you have a tool that doesn't serve a purpose, it
disintegrates, and this is what happening to us.
TY: Moshe, I want to
ask you how they can bar you from running next time for the Knesset. What are
they going to charge you with in order to say you are not eligible to run?
MF: I really don't know. They will probably try to pull something out of
their sleeve. However, Manhigut Yehudit is not a movement of a person. Why do
they call us the 'Feiglinites'? Because they are trying to portray us as a bunch
of people going blindly after a person. But that is not what we are at all. It
is a movement of an idea, and because it is a movement like that, they cannot
TY: But if they can get you, they can get the whole party, just
like they did with the Kach party. It wasn't just Rabbi Meir Kahane that they
banned, but they made his whole party illegal.
MF: Rabbi Kahane, of
blessed memory, was a movement of one man. That is the difference. I hope we can
not only learn from the good things he did, but also here and there, from his
ES: We are still reeling here from the terror attack Friday
night and looking for things we can do about it. Do you have any suggestions for
MF: Look, we have a Chief of Staff that has already said
that the disengagement will be a tail-wind for terror. And that is what we see
today. As long as we give the Arabs our land, terror will always increase. The
only way to stop terror is to go back to our roots, to our justice - to
annex the land, to make sure that they understand and that the entire world
understands that we know that this is our land, that this is our country and
that whoever is going to start with us will pay a tremendous price. But when we
lose our own justice, we merely whet their appetite for more and more Jewish
blood because we communicate to them that they are right - that justice
lies on their side.
TY: If you were the prime minister of Israel, what
would be your solution to bring security and peace to Israel and to fulfill the
destiny of the Jewish people here in our land?
MF: Well, first we have
to understand that peace and security are not the reason why we came to this
part of the Middle East - to the Land of Israel. We would have much greater
peace and security in Australia, New Jersey or New Zealand. We are here to serve
one purpose only: to be complete Jews. The State of Israel is a tool to serve
that purpose - to enable the Jews to fulfill their mission on Earth. When
we do that we will have peace and security. But if we think we came here just to
run away from the gas chambers - and that is why when anyone comes to Israel we
first bring him to [Holocaust museum] Yad VaShem, to show him why we are
here - then we are mistaken. We are not here because we are running from
the gas chambers, we are here for a positive reason. We are on a mission. Only
when we understand that, will we be able to really protect ourselves. And that
will be the point when we will have peace and security.
TY: But can I
ask you about specific steps? What would you do now? Israel has again signed
empty promises with the PLO and again they have been broken. They agree to stop
the terror and then there are more attacks. How would you respond? What steps
would you take?
MF: We are supplying the water, telephones, electricity,
cement, medicine, food - everything to this population where the terrorist
murderers come out from. Why would we do that? We make this differentiation
between those who are terrorists and the rest of the population - which we
cannot touch? Why? Why do we not care about your children but care so much about their children? It's because our entire world view of values has gotten mixed
up. I am telling you again, it is very easy to win that war, but the source of
the problem is not a military issue, the source of the problem it is that we
forgot who we are and what we are doing here.
TY: Let's say you go in
there and you turn off their electricity and water to punish them and to make
them reign in their terrorists -
MF: We wouldn't be going in at
all, this is done from outside -
TY: Fine, but what happens when
the world says, "Because you did this, we are going to place sanctions on
Israel. We are not going to sell you parts for your airplanes or tanks, we are
declaring boycotts. How would you respond to that?
MF: How did we
respond to that before the Six-Day-War? How did we respond to that before the
'48 war? When you know that you are right and when you are a real leader and
convince your people that you have a real war with justice behind it, people are
willing to sacrifice. And the whole world can jump [in a lake]. But you can only
do that when you supply a real sense of justice for the public, and you will not
be able to do that without referring to their Jewish points. You must believe in
the Jewish people, and when you do that they will follow you.
ES: I went
on the Ministry of Defense web site and they have a map on it of the big fence
they are building to supposedly protect Israelis from suicide bombers. I was
looking at the route and it's been moved even further west, closer to the 1949
armistice lines - the Green Line. The reason I was looking at it was that
over Shabbat I visited a town on the eastern side of this fence - the side that
the government perhaps wants to relinquish and I thought to myself, 'is this
wise?' Later, a family member told me 'It is not wise to move to such an area
that is in such doubt. This is a time of great change in Israel and you should
wait and see whether it remains part of Israel or whether it will be given
away.' What would your reaction be to that type of statement, Moshe?
I think the key word used is the word 'doubt.' Sharon is really using
psychological warfare against some of the best people of Israel to put doubt in
their hearts. He wants to give them the feeling that maybe they should follow
his way, that his way is inevitable and the only one attached to reality. I
think we are being tested today. Are we strong enough? Do we truly believe in
the people of Israel, in the Land of Israel, in our Father in Heaven? Do we
follow G-d, or this dictator Sharon? And this is the test that I am sure we are
going to pass and I am sure we are going to be very proud to be able to tell our
children and grandchildren about it in generations to come.
I can tell
you on a personal note, I bought a piece of land in Kfar Darom, in Gaza.
[Manhigut Yehudit Managing Director] Michael Fuah did the same. This is nothing
compared to the people who actually live there. Every agricultural business in
Gush Katif has put tens of thousands of dollars into his business in recent
weeks because now they are planting in their hothouses to be able to deliver
their produce for next winter. Each one of them is thinking today, 'Why should I
put tens of thousands of dollars that will not be given to me if I am pulled out
of here?' The test you and I are dealing with is nothing compared to what these
heroes are going through. They are paying twice. They are getting bombarded with
bombs and rockets on one hand and the government is destroying them on the other
hand, yet they are holding strong. Because of these heroes - and these are
real heroes - because of them, we, the Jewish people are going to pass the
We are living in a tremendous generation. We see terrible,
terrible people like [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon and [PM Sharon's son, Likud
MK] Omri [Sharon] and [Sharon advisor Dov] Weisglass on one hand, and the
unbelievable faith, courage and heroism of the settlers of Gush Katif and the
northern Shomron on the other hand. As a believer, I am looking toward the sky
and thinking of HaShem (G-d) and I know that in their merit G-d will keep Gush
Katif with us.
ES: I want to thank you for being on Israel National
Radio's Weekend Edition. May we all have the kind of faith you have.