Sunday, May 17, 2009

Preventing the Triumph of Evil

By Moshe Feiglin

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Albert Einstein

The new government Commission of Inquiry to Examine the Treatment of the Evacuees of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron began its work this week. If you had just landed here from the moon and heard the name of the Commission, you would assume that some sort of natural disaster had occurred in Gush Katif and North Shomron that required the evacuation of its residents - and that the response of the emergency personnel was somehow lacking. The lie that is in the very name of the Commission guarantees that nothing will come out of it.

The residents of Gush Katif were obviously not "evacuated" from their homes. In the summer of 2005, a civil war took place in Israel. The side that represented the feelings of most of the Israelis decided to fight by reciting Psalms in the synagogue. As a result, the residents of Gush Katif were expelled from their homes. Their flourishing towns and farms were completely destroyed and worst of all – they became objects of derision and the dam holding back further expulsions and destructions was burst wide open.

Post-Sharon and Olmert Israel is a country that has lost its founding ethos. It has no shared values system and nothing is holy anymore. In Israel 2009, you are not worth what you can give to society – you are worth how much damage you can cause. That is why the Arabs of Na'alin got what they wanted after killing two soldiers and that is why nobody dares to start up with Israel's Arabs. That is also why nobody wants to cross the big unions or the Ultra-Orthodox.

It makes no difference that the Orange public is the most creative and ethical of Israel's sectors or that it produces the largest number of volunteers for elite army units. All of that means nothing. If you cannot do damage, no commission of inquiry will help.

What the Left did and what the State's part was in the crime of Expulsion no longer matters. The real Commission of Inquiry has to be established within the Orange camp. All the evil of summer 2005 burst through the door opened wide by the people who wanted to protect the Land of Israel.

The main lesson that the Orange camp and the entire nation must learn from the Expulsion is that G-d does not work for us. On the contrary, it is we who work for Him. True, G-d made quite a few promises to our forefathers and we gaze on in wonder as He fulfills those promises to perfection against all historical probability. We have returned to our Land and it flourishes and develops against all odds. We have received the gift of Jerusalem, old people sit in its streets, canes in hands and the sound of children playing rings through its alleys – exactly as G-d promised.

But between the promise and its fulfillment we suffered through pogroms, a holocaust and other horrors. Whoever thought that our Father in Heaven is sitting snugly in his pocket and that the State of Israel cannot be destroyed and that the Holocaust can never happen again has a distorted sense of faith. (Please re-read this week's Torah portion, Bechukotai). G-d owes us nothing, and if we decide to commit suicide, our Father in Heaven just may honor our decision.

Some people think that they have G-d all figured out and that all they have to do is to keep putting up settlements. Everything else, they reason, will fall into place as per G-d's plan, to which they are privy. Unfortunately, this type of determinism turns simple faith into a distorted image of what it should be. I was born in Israel 47 years ago, and throughout the years, I have heard time and again that a Holocaust can never happen again because we have a state. That is simply not true. On the axis of time that begins in Auschwitz and ends at the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, we have run into a rut called Oslo. From that point and on, we have been progressing backwards. Yes, I am talking about destruction of the State and another Holocaust, G-d forbid.

The destruction of Gush Katif accelerated the reversal process. In the Expulsion of 2005, all the delicate fibers holding the Zionist ethos together snapped. The entire world watched on in glee as Israel accepted the Palestinian claims of ownership of the entire Land and destroyed itself. After Gush Katif, we have no more justification for our existence in any place in the Land of Israel. That is why we cannot win a war – and that is what happened in the two wars that we have fought since the Expulsion.

The poor residents of Gush Katif were deceived by the deterministic approach of their rabbis and political leaders. They did not fight for their homes and also prevented those people who came to help from fighting. (A clear example of this behavior is the case of Rabbi Aviner and Effie Eitam, who together prevented the masses from exiting Kfar Maimon on their way to Gush Katif.) He who does not fight – no matter what the outcome of his struggle – proves that he cannot damage the powers that be. This makes the next expulsion just a matter of time. True, in Amona the Orange deterrence was temporarily restored (despite the fact that Olmert "won") but that deterrence has since been lost.

The most hostile US government that we have known in recent history will now meet up with an easily pressured Israeli leadership that unfortunately has support to make concessions. While it is true that Bibi lost to Kadimah, he was endorsed by all the right wing parties. Outside of the Likud, there is no one to stop Bibi from surrendering parts of the Land of Israel.

Israel currently faces a two-pronged danger. The visible danger is from a nuclear Iran. But the more insidious danger is that Israel will willingly shrink back to its old Auschwitz borders (as they were called by Abba Eban), something made realistic and applicable by the "Disengagement." As the expulsion from Gush Katif has proven, retreat from the land directly brings loss of international acceptance of Israel's very existence. As long as our nation does not have ethical leadership, the process of internal disintegration will continue – until the final, redeeming blow.

Former Knesset Speaker and candidate for Prime Minister Avrum Burg understood the pathology of this process and procured a French passport. Don't make any mistakes; the people leading us to destruction won't be here to suffer the consequences. The Oslo adventure and the Palestinian state are just what these politicians need to buy time and power – until they take off.

When Obama creates linkage between Yitzhar and Bushehr, he is actually giving us the choice between swift destruction and a slower, less painful destruction. That is a very enticing choice for someone whose main goal is to remain in power. But the sad truth is that Obama will never attack Iran – even after Israeli retreats. Netanyahu will not attack Iran against America's will. I hope that I am wrong.

Israel is a strong nation and Israelis understand what has happened here since Oslo. That is why they voted for Sharon after Ehud Barak presented us with the Arab uprising in 2000. When Sharon veered left, everybody knew that it was either a mistake or a crime. But the media was with him, the elites were with him and there was no alternative political leadership. When that happens, the fact that the nation is with you in their hearts does not help. That is another important lesson of the Expulsion. The fact that we are right and beloved by the general public will not help without a real struggle - both political and on the ground.

So what can we do now? Pray? Nothing will succeed without prayer, but only when it accompanies action and does not replace it. Prayer that replaces action will not help, just as it did not help the na?ve, righteous Jews in Gush Katif. We work for G-d – remember? We are not angels. We must act within the framework of the world as constructed by the Creator – and pray all the while.

We must understand that this is a do or die situation. The worst thing that we can do now is to fall into the trap of compromise and surrender. It will start from one small trailer home on a hilltop in the Shomron and it will end in Tel Aviv. This is a total war and it should be conducted as such. The guidelines for action are quite simple. Whatever was done to save Gush Katif – we must do just the opposite!

But that is just the small part of the conclusions. Because if Bibi decides to expel the settlers – and that is what he will decide – the IDF will carry out its orders once again. The most important action that we can take right now is in the political arena. The only significant opposition to Sharon's tyranny was from within his own party. The Likud referendum on Gush Katif and the Likud "rebels" made Sharon sweat a lot more than the Orange demonstrations.

Smart and targeted action on the ground and in the Likud are the only tools that, with G-d's help, will stop the tremendous danger hovering over the existence of the State of Israel. If you have not yet registered for the Likud, now is the time to do so! If you don't, you won't have anything to say when good friends will toe Netanyahu's destruction line. Remember, ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'

Real action means building new leadership. Not just to prevent the next expulsion – but to transform the State of Israel into a Jewish state. Israel must have leadership that strives to perfect the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty while having its feet firmly planted on the ground in science, communications, culture and every other facet of life. Now is the time for each and every one of us to take responsibility – to register for the Likud, to register others, to take up leadership positions within the Likud and to help in whatever way possible. This time, we really cannot afford to lose.

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