Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rise of the Morning Star

By Moshe Feiglin

We are in the midst of a period in which light and darkness fight for center stage, making it difficult to know how to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. Those who say that Yom Ha'atzmaut is a day for joy and thanksgiving are right. But those who point out that Israel is in the throes of retreat and surrender are also right. If we compare our situation today to our situation before Israel was established, we are filled with gratitude and pride. But how are we supposed to feel when we see our country regressing to its former, pre-State status?

We celebrate every child's birthday and rejoice in his small accomplishments - even though he occasionally causes us grief. We take joy in the knowledge that he is growing and maturing. But what if the child is in danger? What if he is in the hands of someone who is incapable of keeping him alive?

We must always thank G-d and rejoice in His gifts. But there are different types of joy. Our joy today is not the joy that we experienced in the naive days of Gush Emunim. After the retreat from Sinai, after Gush Katif, after two lost wars to Hezbollah and Hamas, after we have realized that the State of Israel is being led by people who are incapable of guarding its existence - that joy is blended with worry and a strong sense of responsibility.

The redemption process is not deterministic. Those who said that there would not be an Expulsion because that is what was determined in heaven were sorely mistaken. We didn't understand that message in Sinai, so we were fed the same fare in Gush Katif. Leadership void of Jewish vision perpetrated an Expulsion - and we have no guarantee that there will be no more. True, we all know that the final frame of the movie is redemption. We all believe that it will happen. But how will the scenes before the grand finale play out? Will it be a musical or a horror film? That depends on us.

Manhigut Yehudit's progress since last Yom Ha'atzmaut has been truly impressive. We must do all that we can to prepare for the upcoming challenges. And we must be prepared to take the leadership of Israel into our hands. This Yom Ha'atzmaut, let us pray that next year, the State of Israel will celebrate its Independence Day with authentic Jewish leadership. It is in our hands.

Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dealing with the Iranian Threat

By Moshe Feiglin

28 Nissan, 5769
(April 22, '09)

Iran's nuclear capability is not the greatest danger facing Israel. The real danger is that Israel's Left will find the way to destroy Judea and Samaria because of that capability. It is important to remember that the Oslo Accords were hatched as an indirect result of the First Gulf War. When PM Shamir relied on the US and Britain to protect Israel from the Iraqi missiles, he had to pay a price. We are still paying that price today. Oslo's threat to Israel's existence is infinitely greater than all the Iraqi missiles put together.

At the very start of his term in office, Netanyahu attempted to link the political process with the Iranian threat. "No problem," countered Obama's advisors. "Take Yitzhar off the map and then we'll talk." Eerily reminiscent of the judenrat dynamic, this US approach means that the lives of Jews are meaningless and that they must pay a price just to stay alive. But it's even worse than that. With the threat of total annihilation hanging over our heads, we are once more being manipulated into compliance to destroy ourselves first (albeit at a slower pace).

If this is the picture even before we take measures to protect ourselves from Iran, what will happen if and when we attack? Or even worse, if the US attacks Iran? In either case, we will be cajoled into pushing ourselves ever so much closer to the Mediterranean - the Final Solution entertained by Israel's enemies.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington has published a comprehensive analysis of Israel's military options and capabilities in a possible strike against Iran's nuclear installations. The 114 page report studies Israel's options and concludes that Israeli military action is possible, albeit much more complex than its attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

While it is clear that Israel must strike Iran, we can assume that under the present government, the price of such an attack will be Israel's retreat from Judea and Samaria. That is a price that we cannot pay. The danger to Israel's existence in the pre-1967 "Auschwitz borders" is infinitely greater than the danger of a nuclear Iran.

What can we do?

Israel needs leadership that does not look to the nations of the world for authorization to exist. It needs leadership that does not apologize for its Jewishness - leadership that will exact the price for the protection of Jewish lives from its enemies and not from its citizens.

And what can we do until then?

We do not have instant solutions. But the fact that there is no immediate relief in sight does not mean that we should take steps that are counterproductive to our goals. Manhigut Yehudit is progressing all the time in its quest for Jewish leadership for Israel. That is the only true solution on the horizon. (Prayer is a prerequisite for everything that we do and Mashiach is the ultimate Jewish leader - but this discussion is based on our actions within the realm of our own, human effort). We must be sure that everything that we do brings us closer to our Jewish destiny. The seemingly simple act of registering for the Likud is actually a major step toward taking the leadership of Israel into our own hands. The more people that register, the less time it will take to save Israel.

A Jewish State for the Jewish People

If you want to pioneer a Jewish revolution - if you want to establish Jewish national leadership - you need to think big. If you talk about national - not sector-based - leadership, you have essentially stated that there is room for everyone in your movement. And true to form, the spectrum of people and opinions in Manhigut Yehudit is broad, indeed. We have common ground with the most fervent Zionists, the most bitter ultra-Orthodox, with the more and the less observant. All of them have their niche in Manhigut Yehudit - as long as they share a main principle: We are all Jews and we all want a Jewish state.

In these days, that principle cannot be taken for granted. Just this week, the Ha'aretz newspaper reported that PM Netanyahu reneged on his demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for negotiations with the Arabs.

It seems that Netanyahu and his advisors are beginning to understand that the real battle is for the very right for a Jewish state to exist at all. Suddenly, Israel's leadership realized that while we hastily recognized the "Palestinian nation" and the rights of this fabricated people to establish a state in the heart of our land, the Arabs and the rest of the world in their wake do not actually recognize the Jewish nation and its rights for sovereignty in that very land.

PM Netanyahu deserves praise for realizing where the lines of the battle are being drawn today. It is unlikely that Tzippy Livni or Ehud Barak would have even begun to deal with this core issue. However, as expected, Israel's persistence to maintain this most basic principle - the principle that is the foundation of the State of Israel - has melted away in no time. Lacking Jewish bedrock under his lofty words, all it took was a bit of cold shoulder from the US for Bibi to retreat from his basic, principled stand.

Two sides will be negotiating over the division of our land. One side's justness and 'legitimate' demands are recognized by the entire world. The other side's leadership cannot even demand recognition for its very right to exist.

If that is how the negotiations will begin, how will they end?

Friday, April 17, 2009

The “Palestinians” and the Pirates

By Rob Muchnick

G-d works in many different ways. Sometimes he let’s us know in advance what he has in store for us, and sometimes he gives us a present which emanates from a most unexpected source.

In Parsha Haazinu, G-d, through Moses, warns us to stay on the straight and narrow path or we will feel his wrath measure for measure. In particular, we are warned not to fall prey to false gods or else G-d will let us be defeated by a “non-people, a vile nation”. The current leaders of Israel have refused to infuse Israel with anything but token yiddishkeit, and now those that call themselves “Palestinians” are like thorns in our eyes - theoretically until we put our faith in G-d instead of the sham Oslo “peace” process which has brought us nothing but death, destruction and a loss of the belief in the justness of our cause by Jews worldwide.

What do the “palestinians” themselves say? They agree with me. On March 31, 1977 - in the Dutch magazine Trouw - PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said: "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people.”

Yasser Arafat himself asserted that “the Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel". He continued, “We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed. Peace for us means Israel's destruction and nothing else." And, of course, nothing has changed with the so-called moderate Mahmoud Abbas, who will only recognize Israel after it has a Muslim majority. These people teach their children from birth that killing Jews - and dying while doing it - is the greatest thing they can do on this earth. They freely admit that they are a “non-nation”. They are obviously sent to us to remind us to get back onto the right path. There can be no doubting this. Our leaders just need to get the message. Or they must be replaced with those who understand what is being said to us. Sometimes the messages are more unexpected or even seemingly miraculous. Take, for example, the case of the now infamous Somalian pirates who recently hijacked an American freighter. Of course the media forgets to say that these pirates belong to the same religion of peace as our palestinian” tormentors, but that’s just a footnote. These maritime marauders are pure evil, just like their “palestinian” brethren, but G-d has found ways to spread Torah and give us miracles through them.

About 1,000 years ago, four of the greatest Rabbinic scholars of their time all left the port of Bari, Italy together in order to sail to the wedding of a daughter of another sage. The same Muslim pirates as today captured their ship. Knowing that Jewish communities paid great sums to redeem their captives, these pirates sold one sage to the Jewish community of Alexandria, Egypt, another to Kairwan, Tunisia, and a third to Cordoba, Spain. It is not known what happened to the fourth sage. After being redeemed, each of the sages were asked to remain in the communities who redeemed them as their leaders. They all remained, and they all started great and famous centers of Jewish learning in their new homes. As such, the pirates were at least partially responsible for the spread of tremendous Jewish learning throughout the Sephardic world.

But I do not just count a deed done a millennia before to make my case. Only 7 months ago, on August 21st, the Somalian pirates hijacked an Iranian tanker - the MV Iran Deyanat - off the coast of Yemen. It was on its way to go through the Suez Canal, which would then put it near the coast of Israel. After the pirates took the ship to port in Somalia, 16 of them died of symptoms akin to radiation poisoning. The Iranians paid a ransom to retrieve their ship, and Israel requested of the US to commence a naval blockade of Iran. So what happened? Piecing together information gleaned from multiple news sites, here goes: the Iranians bought 100 million pounds of radioactive nuclear-contaminated sand from China. The Iranians had planned to sail the ship off the coast of Israel and then remotely blow up the ship. They wished to take advantage of the prevailing winds that blow off the Mediterranean to spread the deadly sand - in cloud form - all over Israel, potentially killing millions of Jews.

Israel has been preparing for a high-tech nuclear-tipped missile being shot at it from Iran, and has spent untold millions of dollars on attempting to develop an anti-missile defense system. But when the anticipated attack actually came, it was from a low-tech dirty bomb. But it was still an attack with a true weapon of mass destruction. The only thing that saved Am Yisrael from this catastrophe is G-d. That’s all. He used these pirates to wake up his children. He used these pirates to save his children. We must do nothing less than praise Him for saving so many of us from the next Holocaust. G-d wants us to open our eyes and start holding up our end of the bargain. We must put our faith in Him and not in any of the false gods of the various “peace” processes. We have no other choice.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Dawn of Faith Based Leadership

By Moshe Feiglin

This article is translated from Moshe Feiglin's article in the Makor Rishon newspaper.

The new government that Netanyahu is going to present soon has no new message and is incapable of dealing with the gangrene spreading in our land since the hug with Arafat. What we have been getting since Oslo is what we will continue to get. Bibi's new government will be predicated on commitment to Oslo and all of its offspring agreements, commitment to continue the war against the settlements and the end of the struggle against the 'rule of law gangsters.'

The security nightmare who fled Lebanon for the Four Mothers movement, brought Katyusha rockets to Hadera and transformed a military triumph in Gaza into a strategic loss (this is only a partial list) will continue to serve as Defense Minister. The "extreme rightist," who supports dividing Jerusalem and the establishment of a Palestinian state will be our Foreign Minister. He will likely restore Jericho casino tycoon, Martin Schlaf, to his position of decisive influence over Israel's foreign policy - through the good offices of his friend and confidante, Dov Weissglass, who will be the General Director of the Foreign Ministry. Justice Minister Friedman will be replaced by a 'court' religious Jew - to the glee of the judges in Jerusalem.

As we warned, you may have voted Right. But what you got was the Left of the Left.

As far as Netanyahu is concerned, he has won a major victory. True, he originally preferred Tzippy Livni to Avigdor Lieberman, but everything actually worked out for the best. With Lieberman in Netanyahu's government, nobody can accuse the Likud of veering sharply left. Nobody will demand of the Likud MKs to vote against the government, because even a "radical rightist," the Left's most maligned object of hatred - is in the government.

For his part, Lieberman will do all that it takes to ensure that the politicians in the State's Attorney office will postpone the indictments hanging over his head. Nobody there will want to see how the disengagement from the Golan Heights or from Samaria is delayed because Lieberman has been forced out of the government. The credit line from Schlaf's Austrian bank will no longer concern the people in the State Attorney's office. And Lieberman's proposed demand for loyalty from Israel's Arabs - well, that will be indefinitely tabled. Just like the mayor of the folklore city of Chelm, who would never fix the bridge so that he would have something to promise in the next elections.

Bibi's achievement is remarkable. He knew what he wanted, stuck to his goal, stood up against all the pressure from within his party, was willing to be embarrassed for his illogical aspirations and achieved his objective.

Bibi's intentions were clear from the start. Before the primaries that were held months ago he wooed leftists Dayan, Meridor, and Hefetz into the Likud. He made it clear that he had no intention of solving Israel's crisis situation. Instead, he would prefer to stretch out deep inside the pampering space of the crisis, itself.

Bibi's advisors explained to him that the battle that he fought against yours truly would translate into a loss of votes for the Likud. But he didn't care. On the contrary - he wanted to make sure that the Likud would not get too many mandates, bring too many MKs loyal to the principles of the Likud onto the Knesset roster and prevent him from achieving his goal. True, Bibi was a bit too successful and actually lost to Kadimah. But as expected, the rightists parties that he loves to hate endorsed him for prime ministerial candidate. In typical Bibi fashion, he received the mandate to form the government from the Right and ran straight to his friends on the Left.

Before the elections I traveled from settlement to settlement in Judea and Samaria and (successfully) tried to convince the people there to vote for the Likud. I remember one election rally in Talmon, where I said to the settlers, "I am not calling upon you to vote Likud because I think that Bibi will safeguard Talmon better than Tzippy Livni. I am calling upon you to vote Likud because the way out of Israel's crisis depends upon the faith-based public's entry into the national leadership arena."

When I voted for the Likud and called upon others to do so, I did not deceive myself for a moment. I did not vote Likud to safeguard the land. Under the rule of the elites and Israel's current mentality, I do not see any party that is capable of doing that. If I had not defined a different, much broader goal for myself, I would not have taken the trouble to go to vote, at all.

I voted Likud to strengthen the belief based alternative for leadership of Israel that is developing inside it and in its merit. I am happy to report that many belief based voters have begun to view politics through this long-term prism. They also voted Likud.

The house of cards that Netanyahu has built will not stand up against the strong winds blowing - certainly not against the storms waiting for the Jews in the Land of Israel. If an average government in Israel lasts two years, this hybrid creation will likely collapse in an even shorter time.

The faith-based voters will reap the fruits of their vote after Netanyahu's inevitable fall. It will be the dawn of belief based leadership for Israel.