Friday, August 08, 2008

Feiglin: We Didn't Allow Ourselves to Win

The following article appeared on Sunday, 2 Av (August 3) in Hebrew on the Arutz 7 website.

In this series on the expulsion from Gush Katif, we asked the chairman of the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud, Moshe Feiglin, for his perspective on the failure of the struggle against the expulsion.

"On the tactical level," said Feiglin, "we staged some tremendous demonstrations. But there was no real struggle because we did not allow ourselves to win. The spiritual and political leadership of the struggle set its goals on convincing and not on winning."

According to Feiglin, there were four main points at which the anti-expulsion struggle could have triumphed: blocking of the roads - if it would have continued and been supported by the spiritual and political leadership of the struggle; conscientious objection; breaking out of Kfar Maimon and the struggle inside Gush Katif - if there had been a struggle and if the people there had not been convinced by the leadership to go to the synagogue to say Psalms instead of fighting for their land.

"The leadership did not want to triumph," Feiglin stated. "It wanted demonstrations. The youth and adults who came to save Gush Katif were dedicated and willing to sacrifice a lot. But the settler leadership was bound to an ideology that placed the state on a pedestal above all other values. Many rabbis did not even support conscientious objection."

"Whoever thinks that the state is the supreme value edges uncomfortably close to fascism," Feiglin added. Religious Zionism must conduct an honest and searing soul search. Although there is much to be admired in its philosophy, it nevertheless collapsed at the moment of truth. Some of the Religious Zionist leaders turned its value system upside down, or at least sideways. The state cannot be above all."

"On a more fundamental level," Feiglin said, "this tragedy came about because the state is sick and in a type of auto-immune reaction, it attacked the public most loyal to it. This disease cannot be cured simply by repeating that we are right. Everybody knows that we are right. But nevertheless, the Right's political power has shrunk. The average Israeli is waiting for us to propose a viable alternative. That alternative must be faith-based, Jewish leadership for Israel and not just a quest for a few more Knesset seats.

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