Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Moshe Feiglin on Iran, Migron and Politics

Moshe Feiglin in an Interview with Chabad's Beit Mashiach Magazine:

By Shalom Ber Krumbie

13 Adar , 5772/ March 7, '12

Moshe Feiglin does not give up. He is preparing for the next battle that awaits him in the upcoming elections, when he will run for a Knesset seat as part of the Likud party. Chances are that he will once again encounter the Prime Minister's attempts to stop him. But Feiglin will not be deterred. He continues to present an alternative to the present government and also sees success in the results of the previous primaries, in which every fourth Likud member (according to him, every third Likud member) voted for him for head of the Likud. He is convinced that if all the faith-based voters band together to help, it will be possible to conquer the premiership and eventually lead the nation.

What is your position on a strike against Iran? Most of the public is not privy to the details. On the surface, it seems like a professional debate within the upper chain of command; some of them support an attack while others are opposed.

I suggest not to be duped by the "expert" clich├ęs. There are strategic assumptions behind all the positions on this topic. It is not something that is merely technical.

Let me give you an example: During the era of the Oslo Accords, when I called on the public to go out and demonstrate, many people who joined our struggle did not understand the "professional considerations". Today everyone sees that those "experts" who bragged about their "professional" degrees were mistaken, while the people who went out to block the roads and protested against the accords, were proven realistic. So my advice is not to follow all kinds of statements that we hear from "experts" blindly. Every person must look at the reality and understand what is happening.

Israel's government made a strategic decision to turn the conflict with Iran into the whole world's problem. There is an attempt being made to place the responsibility on the world, saying that the solution must come from the nations around the globe. We must ask ourselves if this basic assumption is true, or if, once again, the Jew is placing his trust in the non-Jew to save him. It is an absurd situation. We are a sovereign nation, but when somebody tries to destroy us, we turn to the nations of the world and beg them to defend us.

As a result of this decision, we have turned the right of each of us to breathe into something for which we have to pay. This is the source of all sorts of strange ideas, like "Yitzhar in exchange for Bushehr" and the attempts to destroy the settlements in exchange for intervention in Iran.

Despite all the publicity about a possible strike against it, Iran continues to build the reactor and develop its nuclear capabilities. They have already managed to protect their nuclear facilities and if we decide to attack now, we will be forced to do so under far worse conditions.

Don't you think it would be better for the world to strike Iran, and not us?

We have two options: Either we wait until we understand that the world is not attacking Iran and then we will be forced to strike by ourselves, under difficult conditions – after the Iranians have already shielded their facilities, and we will have a war with Iran. The other option is that America will attack, and then we will have a war with Iran. After all, upon whom will they stage their counter-attack if not Israel? That is exactly what happened when America attacked Sadaam Hussein; he shot missiles at Ramat Gan. The same is true of an American strike on Iran. Nobody thinks that Israel will not be the target of a counter-attack. So we are better off attacking, doing it in the right way and the right time for us.

Another possibility is that the US will elect a new president who will decide to attack their reactor. Are you afraid that by then, it will be too late?

I am appalled by the question. I visit the US often and I never heard anybody there asking what affect Israel's prime minister would have on their lives. The very question testifies to the belief that the decisions of the US influence our existence. Our existence is dependent only on G-d and our own efforts and not on the patronage of the US. That entire way of thinking proves that subconsciously, we still think that America runs our country.

As I said, regardless of who attacks, we will have to face a war with Iran. At least if we attack, it will be effective. If we strike first, we will prove that there is a price to be paid for threatening Israel. Regrettably, if we do not strike Iran, we will lose both our strategy and the legitimacy to live here as an independent sovereign state.

Do you fear an all-out war?

If Iran achieves nuclear capabilities, G-d forbid – and the way Israel is conducting itself now, it is clear that that is the direction – it means that the entire Middle East will fall into Iran's hands like a ripe fruit and we will have to deal with threats from every direction, G-d forbid. The government is responsible and unfortunately, it impotence is awful. When he became Premier, PM Netanyahu announced that his most important goal is to remove the Iranian threat. But three years have gone by and nothing has been done. So what are we waiting for?

If Netanyahu strikes Iran, I will be the first to congratulate him. Unfortunately, though, I cannot see Netanyahu attacking under the present circumstances.

What do you think about the proposed compromise in Migron? Is it a dangerous precedent?

Yes. I cannot judge the residents of Migron, but it is clear that after the compromise, additional settlements will fall into the hands of Peace Now. The residents of Migron understood this and they were very brave and waged a determined struggle. But they did not have public support. Even the Yesha leadership did not completely support the struggle. I gave them my support in my newspaper columns and wrote that they must not accept any compromise. Unfortunately, I was a minority opinion. I fear that this agreement will spawn many more settlement "relocations."

The nationalist MKs in the Likud claim that it is a good agreement.

In my opinion, they simply do not understand the situation. In principle, a compromise is good, and many settlements in Yesha were built with all sorts of compromises. But the difference is that in those days, the government supported the settlements and wanted to build them; it was just that they had legal problems with the High Court. Then, in order to overcome the High Court, the government was forced to make compromises on the location of certain settlements. Now, on the other hand, the government opposes the continued settlement of Yesha. Currently, every compromise paves the way for destruction. Today, settlement relocation is part of convergence and not part of the settlement process.

What will happen if we choose to fight? Will that help to save Migron?

I don't think so. But just like the struggle over eight houses in Amona stopped Olmert's convergence plan, so in our present situation. Only going all the way stops the decline and the continued destruction of settlements. The bottom line is that we lost and the big winner is Peace Now.

The public needs to see an alternative.

The Yesha leadership claims that the public is tired and incapable of waging a public campaign. The public will stage a protest when they understand its ultimate purpose. Today, people say to themselves, "Why should I go out to protest rallies if, after we bring the government down, a new "rightist' government implements the same leftist laws?

I do not oppose public protest. On the contrary, public protests generate strength. Whoever expects a protest that will "bring the house down," however, must give the public a good enough reason for self-sacrifice. Despite the significance of protests, the same politicians who were carried on the waves of our public's demonstrations perpetuated the policies against which we had protested.

We need the protests to retain our sanity. But we must always strive for a leadership alternative. This is what I have been doing over the last years.

Until now, you have succeeded ideologically, but not practically.

In the recent race for chairmanship of the Likud, every third Likud member voted for me. If we have already received one third of the vote, we will also be elected to lead the Likud.

But what will happen on the day that Moshe Feiglin becomes head of the Likud? Just like Sharon established Kadimah and left Netanyahu with only 13 Likud Knesset seats, the same thing can happen when you become head of the Likud and Netanyahu establishes Kadimah 2 and leaves you with a handful of mandates.

True, Sharon did establish Kadimah, but today we see where he is, where Kadimah is and where the Likud is. The Likud's strength is not Sharon and not Netanyahu. It is the authentic, popular ruling party. The Likud is a brand name. Its power is not the leader, but the party. This power is in the hands of the Likud members and the public. That is why I am not afraid of Netanyahu. On the day that he leaves the Likud, he will not manage to present a governing alternative

For years, everyone talks about the complete Land of Israel, but the Right does not present a comprehensive plan. Do you have a plan?

The only possible political plan that is viable is to declare Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, while providing the Arabs living there with full human rights - but not voting rights. I do not owe anybody Israeli citizenship. They can live under Israeli rule with more than their elementary rights, but without the privilege of voting in the Knesset.

What will you do with the two million Arabs who live on the other side of the Green Line?

First of all, we must establish an office that will encourage emigration and will provide those Arabs who emigrate with a substantial grant so that they can build their lives in one of the other countries in the world, as most of them prefer, anyway. We can take all the money that has been invested in protection against terrorism and encourage and assist all Arabs who wish to leave. I believe that in a short time, maybe 10-15 years, most of them will leave Judea and Samaria.

Are you worried about Netanyahu's statements about a Palestinian state?

I respect the fact that he clearly announced in his Bar Ilan speech that he plans to establish a Palestinian state. I think that he intends to do what he said. My impression is that he spoke with utmost seriousness, and the facts on the ground testify to that fact. Since Netanyahu became PM, there is no building in Judea and Samaria and the hilltop settlements are constantly destroyed. The only construction in Judea and Samaria today is at the Arab city, Ruwabi, that is supposed to be the flagship of the Palestinian state. Those are the facts on the ground and I am very concerned.

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