Friday, April 26, 2013

One Law for all?

By Moshe Feiglin

One law shall you have for the stranger as for the home-born, for I am Hashem, your G-d. (From this week's Torah portion, Emor, Leviticus 24:22)

Enforcement of the law in different ways for different sectors neuters the law, making it the foundation of evil.
A small-time criminal works against the law.
A bigger criminal circumvents the law.
But a big-time criminal works by means of the law – specifically by selective enforcement of the law.

The real power is not in the hands of the judges, but in the hands of those who decide whom to prosecute. Nobody would even think of destroying an apartment building in the heart of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem – even if it is the "Holyland" project, tainted with corruption. But a settlement neighborhood will be destroyed with no qualms because in Israel, there may be law, but not the same law for all its citizens. The law is not the same for all because we have forgotten the end of the verse in Leviticus, "for I am Hashem, your G-d."

Shabbat Shalom

The Moral Hypocrisy/Bankruptcy of Amira Hass

By Tuvia Brodie

At the beginning of April, 2013, the Israel newspaper, Haaretz, published an essay by Amira Hass which called upon Arabs to throw stones at Israelis. Such action, she wrote, was a ‘birthright and duty’.
Her argument is immoral. It suggests hypocrisy—and, possibly,  moral bankruptcy.
We should remember her words. Rock attacks against Jews have increased so much in April that the Samaria Residents Committee has written to Prime Minister Netanyahu appealing to him for help protecting Jews from these attacks.
Consider the concept. Stone-throwing, as practiced by Arabs, is not passive disobedience. It is violence. It can—and has—killed and disabled Jews. It carries the same moral status as shooting a gun at others with your eyes closed; closing your eyes does not make your shooting moral. It does not remove your guilt should you harm someone. You cannot argue that you did no wrong because you didn’t aim at anyone specific; and you cannot claim you have the moral right to shoot because, to a moral person seeking moral consideration from others, any behaviour designed to injure is morally wrong.
Arabs claim their cause is just and moral. They demand morality; shouldn’t they act morally? Demanding justice, they should denounce unjust behaviour. But as Ms Hass shows us, that’s not the Arab approach.
First, she calls violence a birthright. This means that, by virtue of his birth, the Arab receives an automatic right to be violent. This is extraordinary. There is nothing moral about such a right. When a moral society (Mr Abbas has suggested that his people are ‘moral’) gives one a right, it is to live in peace, or to be safe, etc.; no moral society gives one a right to be violent because a moral society aims to be just. In fact, Mr Abbas has asked the UN to give him that justice based upon moral consideration. He invokes ‘morality’ for his people. But violence is, by definition, unjust. It is the embodiment of a direct, physical injustice. There is no place for injustice in a moral cause.
If Ms Hass endorses violence, she endorses injustice. That suggests that Arab society is intrinsically immoral: do Arabs care more for violence than justice?
Ethicists will tell you that, sometimes, violence can be morally acceptable (see discussions of ‘just war’). But ethicists are extremely careful about such violence; and many agree that, even when violence does become ‘just’, it is a slippery slope. Such behaviour almost always leads to ‘unjust’ outcomes.
The outcome Ms Hass advocates is harm to Israelis. That is not, by definition, a ‘just’ goal.
Ms Hass compounds her moral problem by going beyond violence as a ‘right’. She calls it a ‘duty’. This is dangerous. She makes correct and right what is immoral and wrong.  Do you understand what ‘duty’ is?  ‘Duty’ is most commonly defined as ‘moral obligation’. A moral obligation is commonly associated with doing good. It is associated with ‘beneficence’; that is, kindness.
To associate violence with 'duty' is to claim violence is connected to beneficence.  
So it is that Ms Hass makes injustice desirable. But her association also defies all definitions of morality: morality does not endorse ‘injustice’.  Morality opposes injustice.
Ms Hass endorses injustice.
She can make injustice moral because she has a foundation to so: the Arab cause redefines morality for Jews and Israel. It does this using a concept called, moral exclusion. This concept works--except for one thing: it’s a ‘smoking gun’ for Arab hypocrisy.
Those who study group violence describe moral exclusion as an organized way to justify violence (injustice) against another. It turns immoral and unjust behaviour into a desired group morality. This process posits that a person (Jew) or group (Israelis) is identified by another group (Arabs) as being unqualified to receive the benefits of moral consideration. So excluded, that individual or group can then, morally, be treated with violence (injustice)--because both morality and its corollary justice do not apply to them.  
This moral exclusion of the Jew (and Israel) is everywhere in Arab culture. To the Arab, Jews are animals. Jews are Nazis. Jews are poisonous. They are vermin—so, of course, violence against them is morally commendable.
Who protects vermin?
We are all better off when we are rid of them.
Arab morality based upon moral exclusion is ugly. It suggests both hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy. The Arab repeatedly claims ‘morality’ and ‘justice’ as his right.  But it is hypocrisy to claim for yourself what you deny to others through vicious, pre-meditated exclusion. It may also be emblematic of a bankruptcy because only the most craven would use that hypocrisy as a lever to elicit sympathy from others while at the same time using it to justify violence.
Ms Hass justifies violence. But she claims a moral cause. Why is she defining injustice as moral?
Is this the point of the Arab cause—to replace morality with injustice?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feiglin Proposes Move to Single Israel Chief Rabbi

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin says he plans to propose Israel move from two chief rabbis to the leadership of a sole chief rabbi.
Chana Ya'ar
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin says he plans to propose a bill that would transform Israel’s rabbinic leadership, consolidating it from two chief rabbis into a single position.

Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudi (Jewish Leadership) faction within the Likud, said his proposed law would mandate a single chief rabbi to represent all of the ethnic streams of Jewry in Israel.

For decades, two chief rabbis have led the Jews of the state -- a Sephardic Chief Rabbi, and an Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. 

The duality is in deference to significant differences in customs held by European and Eastern ethnic streams in life cycle issues such as marriage, Passover observance and family purity.

Feiglin’s proposal would appoint the “runner-up” to become the President of the Rabbinical Court.

“I am certain all Israelis look forward to this uniting change,” Feiglin contended.
Rabbi Haim Druckman, winner of the 2012 Israel Prize, head of the Bnei Akiva movement and a leading figure in the National Religious sector, has commented that while he supported the idea in principle, he wondered if current Israeli society is ready for such a precedent.

MK Feiglin: I Started Flag-on-Car Custom

Deputy Knesset Speaker says the tradition began as a private act of defiance against Arab terror.
Gil Ronen
Deputy Knesset Speaker, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) told his Facebook followers that the Yom Haatzmaut tradition of affixing flags to the windows and roofs of cars  began as an act of defiance and self defense that he initiated 20 years ago, when he moved to Samaria.
"Have you ever wondered where the strange custom of sticking flags on cars came from?", he asked.
"Okay, it is time to reveal the secret.
"The person to blame for that wind-tattered flag that is stuck on your car window – is yours truly.
"When I first came to live in Samaria, 20 years ago, I was amazed to see my neighbors protecting their cars with a range of metal mesh nets, against the rock barrages of the First Intifada. They looked like mobile cages.
"I tried to explain to them that such behavior will only encourage rock throwing, but their natural inclination to protect their families was stronger than that argument.
"One night, I remained awake, and by the morning, a sail-sized flag was flying from the roof of my car. In the morning, I opened the car window, put my elbow out like a car driver, and drove slowly to work through riotous Kalkilya.
"My neighbors were already preparing to say Kaddish over me, more or less. But when I persisted in the matter, it turned out that for some reason, it was I who was not being struck by rocks, not they.
"Slowly, other neighbors began joining the initiative. People who drove without a flag felt more threatened than those who drove with one.
MK Feiglin's wife, Tzipi, also took part in this "flag warfare."
"When we did a reserve stint in Shechem, Tzipi drove through the entire city of Shechem – alone – with an Israeli flag, in order to bring the company a fresh supply of her famous cookies (now you know the secret of my strength…).
"The Head of Central Command at the time was Amram Mitzna, who now sits with me in the Knesset plenum.  At first, IDF jeeps also began to spontaneously fly Israel flags. But Mitzna gave an order forbidding this, and citizens flying flags were stopped at IDF checkpoints. I had neighbors who painted a large flag on their cars – the kind of flag one cannot remove… in the end, he gave up.
"I realized later that if I want the phenomenon to spread, I need to provide the public with a simple mechanism. Not everyone will improvise a flag-hoisting mechanism. It started with an unwieldy metal contraption, continued with all sorts of inventions, until today's familiar flag-on-a-stick was reached. At that point, all sorts of merchants took over independently – and that is the story of Israel flags on cars on Yom Haatzmaut."

Moshe Feiglin Shaken by Visit to Southern Tel Aviv

The woman in the picture is telling me how a group of illegal migrants raped her 80 year old friend for hours, leaving the woman emotionally devastated. In the background is what used to be a synagogue and is now a Sudanese pub.

The place: Tel Aviv, 2013.

I am still trembling from my visit to what was the first Hebrew city.

I saw old women who only leave their homes once a week.
I saw scared people.

I saw filth, violence, evil and worst of all - official abuse of the downtrodden, the poor and the solitary; people who have nowhere to go and are abandoned to their fate.

"He who has mercy on the cruel, will be cruel to the merciful."
Whoever does not expel these migrant infiltrators is responsible for all of this.

Whoever says that it is impossible according to international law - is lying.

They came in from Egypt, not Sudan or Eritrea. Egypt is not defined as a dangerous state for these migrants. When I asked the commander of the Immigration Police why they do not return them to Egypt, he smiled awkwardly as if to say, "Nobody asks those kinds of questions - they might anger the Egyptians and compromise our "peace" with them.

Please note: That poor woman is one more sacrifice for "peace" with Egypt.

Now I am in the Garden of Eden: My home in Karnei Shomron. I understand that the real front lines are in Tel Aviv.

The Real Accomplishment

By Moshe Feiglin

14 Iyar, 5773
April 24, '13

Translated form the Makor Rishon newspaper

The special relationship between Israel and the U.S. is not a clich̩. Polls and in-depth surveys repeatedly prove that the American nation relates to Israel positively in the most fundamental way Рdespite the tireless efforts of the Jews of the New York Times and Ha'aretz to the contrary.

We share common values, based on the Bible. America's Founding Fathers saw their new country as a rebirth of the nation of liberty and its universal message. These common goals should have been the basis for the relationship between Israel and the US. "And I will bless those who bless you and those who curse you shall be cursed," G-d says to Abraham. That is the motto of some 80 million American Evangelicals who are convinced that American prosperity is contingent on its significant alliance with Israel. Hardship, they believe, happens when the US takes a stand against Israel.

But instead of reinforcing our status as the eternal People of the Book and the source of American values, we have chosen to market ourselves as a young nation searching for its place amongst the established nations and under their patronage. Our relationship with the US has become – through our own volition – a father-son relationship.

American "aid", merely 1.5% of Israel's income, is not something Israel really needs. In the long run, it harms us economically, politically and militarily. But our insistence on receiving it stems from a psychological need. When our pocket money continues to roll in from across the ocean, it shows that "Father" is still there and that we are not alone among the nations. When we try to escape our Father in Heaven – we have to look for a weak replica in foreign lands.

This flawed mentality was the source of the "Obamania" that we experienced during Obama's visit to Israel. Thus, relations that could have been based on shared values were instead based on dependence.

Israel, fleeing its identity and constantly evading open adoption of those common goals, has consistently based its connection with the US on a completely different foundation. The main goal that we touted was our right to self-defense. Instead of the Shrine of the Book and sites that attest to our biblical foundations here, our honored guests were always taken to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem. After viewing those horrific images, nobody was supposed to be able to ask any questions. That was good for us; no need to deal with the questions of our identity and the justice of our national existence in this Land.

But the Holocaust "lemon" has been completely squeezed out. A new generation has risen in Europe – a generation that is no longer willing to pay for the sins of its predecessors with silence. This generation sees the "Palestinians" demanding justice as the new Jews, bereft of a homeland, while they view the Israelis who demand security as the new Nazis.

Netanyahu's insistence on restoring the focal point of Obama's visit from the Holocaust to our deep historical foundations in Israel; his assertive speech in the US in which he explained that Yad Vashem is not the foundation of our existence; rounding out this approach by bringing President Obama to the Shrine of the Book; the explanation that Obama received there that every Israeli child can read what his forefathers wrote here over two thousand years ago – were, in my opinion, the most important accomplishment of Obama's visit.

I was in the Channel 2 studio when Professor Rosenberg from the Shrine of the Book explained to the viewers what the US president was looking at that very moment.

"You don't have a Palestinian scroll to show him?" I couldn't keep my words back. "Not from one thousand years ago - not from one hundred years ago – less than that. Nothing?"
The professor shifted his weight uncomfortably.

"This is the most important outcome of Obama's visit and Netanyahu's major accomplishment," I repeated. "It is not about Obama, but first and foremost - about Israeli society that has been trained to see Auschwitz as the justification for our existence."

Who knows? Maybe next time, we will take our visiting VIPs to the altar built by Yehoshua ben Nun on Mount Eval just forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The Dead Sea Scrolls are certainly important. But our history in this Land does not begin 2000 years ago. It begins 3300 years ago.

True, 93% of the Biblical sites in Israel are in the areas earmarked for the two-state solution. But what can we do? The place that gives meaning to our national existence, the focal point of our longing and our destiny – is also there:

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu made an invaluable turnabout in the way Israel explains itself. We must complete that turnabout. No going half way.  

So What Do You Do All Day?

By Moshe Feiglin

"Our goal," I explained at a Manhigut Yehudit meeting, "is to place the pieces of the puzzle that make up the future Jewish liberty state on the table. The entire picture is still not clear but we have a clear direction. More and more Israelis understand that we have a methodical approach and a worldview that applies to everyone, elevates everyone and infuses Israeli society with three fundamental components: Identity, Meaning and Liberty.

The photo of the board here is a summary of the issues that we have been working on for years and which we continue to work on now from the Knesset:

From right to left:
Family and Community
Privatization of land
Land of Israel (recent visits to Ma'aleh Rehavam and Eish Kodesh)
Legalization of medicinal marijuana
Temple Mount
The Liberal Lobby
One Chief Rabbi instead of two
Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands
Outline for voluntary military service
Traffic Accidents

The Knesset committees on which I serve:
1) House Committee
2) Economic Affairs Committee
3) Internal Affairs and Environment Committee
4) Education, Culture and Sports Committee
5) State Control Committee
6) Science and Technology Committee
7) Public Petitions Committee

Each of these items is a world unto itself. But what they all have in common is the identity-meaning-liberty paradigm. 

Thank G-d, we have been making progress and the Israeli public is listening.
Obviously, the scope of all this activity is far beyond the abilities of one Knesset Member. We have been working on these issues for 15 years and to succeed, we need help from our supporters. My office in the Knesset is now the command center for all of us.

These days, I feel like a person who has been walking through the desert for years, progressing little by little. Suddenly, I get a super jeep and what used to take months now take just a few hours. I invite all of you to get into the jeep. To volunteer, visit our Facebook page or write to Shmuel Sackett: 

Popeye defends Israel against Iran

By Tuvia Brodie

Israel has a problem. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad wants nuclear capability.  He enriches uranium to weapons-grade levels. He also wants to destroy Israel. He says that destroying Israel will bring an Islamic ‘twelfth Imam’, the Muslim version of Messiah.  
He won’t stop enriching uranium.  He won’t stop talking about destroying Israel.
The nations of the world aren’t worried. They dismiss Israel’s concerns--or say negotiations-with-sanctions will work. They want Israel to wait. Meanwhile, according to some calculations, Iran could be ready to produce a nuclear weapon before the sanctions succeed.
Now, 35 former high-ranking US officials have told President Obama that sanctions against Iran will not work. Nevertheless, the President continues with sanctions—and  Iran continues to push closer to weapons-grade uranium.
 With a nuclear weapon, Iran could bully everyone, if only to showcase how Muslims can now control the Destiny of the world: end the sanctions, Iran could say, and I won’t bomb Israel; keep the sanctions, I will bomb.
Some argue that Israel must attack Iran immediately.  But that’s difficult because there’s no single Iranian nuclear facility to attack. There are multiple facilities. Worse, the nuclear production sites Iran does have are not easy targets, as they had been in Syria (2007) and Iraq (1981). In Iran they are underground, deeply buried. Then, worst of all, they are not located near Israel. They are spread far and wide across Iran—multiple targets, all challenging for Israel to reach.
Before the US committed to sanctions, many hoped that the US would attack Iran on Israel’s behalf because only the US has the planes and weapons to take on Iran’s embedded facilities. But, while the US has said that all options are still on the table, so are significant enough US military budget cuts that the US may soon lose the ability—or willingness-- to undertake such an expensive raid.
This may be why AP news now reports that US Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel has announced that Washington is willing to allow Israel to decide on its own whether and when to attack Iran.
Israel has no one to turn to. She has to take care of this herself because, as in the past, no one else will.  Israel is alone, just as prophesied.  The challenge is, those nuclear sites are heavily protected; and even if Israel can destroy some of them, she might only delay the creation of a bomb by perhaps six months.
What good would that do?
The best argument to attack, given such a reality, is a punch line from Jewish lore: maybe we’ll get lucky and succeed; or, after we attack, the Iranians could change their mind; or, maybe, the US will help; or, Ahmadinejad could die; or, maybe, the Iranian people will revolt; but whatever happens, six months is better than nothing.
Few in Israel like that answer. Instead, conventional wisdom is adamant: Israel must (1) destroy those facilities; and, (2) do it in a single attack.
But conventional wisdom is wrong. Israel cannot destroy all the facilities—and she may lack the equipment to attempt such destruction in a single assault.
So what can Israel do? Ignore conventional wisdom.
Instead of destruction, Israel should aim to render the sites unusable. The practical result will be the same: nuclear work stopped.
The ancient Chinese military work, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, says that in war, one should avoid what is strong and strike what is weak. This is how Israel can stop the Iranian nuclear machinery: attack what is weak.
Iran’s nuclear facilities are embedded deep underground. But these same protected facilities have several weak points: tunnel entrances, roads, emergency exits, ventilation shafts and connections to power plants. Many of these are hidden. But tunnel entrances, power plant connections and roads are not.
They are weak-points.
If these facilities cannot be destroyed, do not attempt to destroy them. Instead, use smart bombs to seal the entrances, and destroy service roads and power supplies.
This approach does not stop productivity. It changes productivity. It causes delays. It disrupts.
It also prompts repairs.
Those repairs are important.  Sun Tzu says, force the enemy to reveal himself so you can find his vulnerable spots. This means that after you bomb, you watch how Iran officials rebuild and reinforce. That will reveal what they want to protect.
That tells you where to bomb again. And again.
Conventional wisdom says Israel has only one opportunity to bomb. But that’s not true. The truth is, Iran could make Israel’s navy famous.
Israel’s navy relies on Popeye.  In America, Popeye is a cartoon character. In Israel, it’s a long-range surface-to-surface missile called Popeye Turbo SLCM (submarine launched cruise missile).
It’s just like Popeye: ugly, but with a big punch.
Iran’s goal is a Jew-free Islamic world hegemony. Iran is serious—and dangerous.
Ah, but so is Popeye.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Separate and Sanctified

By Moshe Feiglin

Speak to the entire Congregation of the Children of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy for I, Hashem your G-d, am holy. A person must fear his mother and father and keep My Sabbaths, I am Hashem, your G-d. (From this week's Torah portion, Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:2-3)

You shall be holy, or in other words, separate, dedicated to a special, lofty goal. 
What makes you separate? Your Torah, of course.
But the Torah is immense. What is the unique, essential point that separates and sanctifies us? Two commandments follow the directive to be holy: Honor of one's parents and keeping the Shabbat. These mitzvot are the practical framework for our holiness.

The mitzvah to honor our parents is logical and accepted among all cultured nations. But Shabbat is just the opposite. Not only is there no economic logic in this mitzvah, but it is forbidden for a non-Jew to keep the Shabbat (there is a vast difference between a day of rest and keeping Shabbat). The Shabbat is a 'sign' between Me and you; it is a personal covenant between the Creator and the nation He adopted as His children. A non-Jew who keeps all the legal intricacies of Shabbat is bursting uninvited into someone else's living room. 

What makes us separate and sanctified is our ability to connect these two opposing concepts: logic and everyday life, natural ethics and human conduct on the one hand, with unblemished faith on the other; while both the logic and faith are subordinate to the same source: I am Hashem, your G-d.

G-d does not command us to be holy by living a life of asceticism or seclusion. Our lives must incorporate high-tech, army, education, infrastructure, police, health, tourism – all the components of a modern state. But all of this must stem from the faith-based recognition that G-d is in our midst. This is how we must fulfill G-d's commandment to be holy. 

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ascent to Temple Mount an Undemocratic, Irresponsible Provocation?

By Moshe Feiglin

7 Iyar, 5773
April 17, '13

Editor's note: A Jerusalem woman sent a letter to MK Moshe Feiglin in which she criticized his visit to the Temple Mount. In her letter, she claimed that Moshe Feiglin broke the law by entering the Mount, that he irresponsibly provoked Arab anger and that his actions should conform to the will of the "majority." The following is Moshe's answer.

Dear S.,
Thank you for your letter and the social involvement that you express.

1. In your letter, you claim that I broke the law. I am sorry to say that from your letter it is obvious that you are not familiar with this issue. The legal situation on the Temple Mount is the complete opposite of what you describe. There is not and there cannot be a law that prohibits the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount. There is not and cannot be a law that prohibits Jews from praying on the Temple Mount. There are laws that emphasize the rights of all religious groups to enter their holy places (similar to their right to enter any other public place) and to pray there.
For example, there is the Jerusalem as capital of Israel law that dictates in clause 3 as follows: "The holy places will be guarded against desecration or any other damage or actions that may undermine the free access of people of all religions to the places holy to them, or offend their sensitivities toward those places."

I would like to remind you that the Nation of Israel also has a faith; it also has a holy place and - wonder of wonders – the Jewish People also has feelings such that this law relates to me as much as it does to any other citizen.

I will not trouble you with all the other fundamental laws and other laws that address the freedom of worship that was withheld from me. I will also not explain the special immunity of Members of Knesset and the serious undermining of the Knesset's sovereignty when these laws are trampled upon by the police. Nor will I quote judges, including High Court justices that time and again uphold our legal right to enter and pray on the Mount. I will only mention that on Sukkot of this year, I was arrested for praying on the Temple Mount. Despite all the police efforts, I was released by the judge without bail, due to "absence of guilt." This is actually the basis for my lawsuit against the police for unnecessary detention.

Thus, I suggest that you may want to think if the situation is not completely the opposite of what you had claimed. Perhaps it is me who is abiding by the law, while those who are trusted with keeping the law are actually breaking it. As you are a responsible citizen, I am certain that this disturbing possibility will cause you to lose some sleep.

2. Your claim that I acted irresponsibly:
Although you try to be objective, this claim is up to its neck in a typically one-sided world view. You see the Arabs' threat of violence and conclude that we must give in. You place the responsibility for the outcome on whoever does not surrender. I wonder if you would respond in the same way if a bully would take over your house and prevent you from entering. How would you relate to someone who would point the accusing finger at you, reprimand you for demanding that the police arrest that ruffian and blame you – and not the intruder - for the outcome? In other words, your claim stems from your point of view, which has already surrendered the Temple Mount. That, of course, is your right. But it is not fair to attempt to force your point of view on others. Is that not so?

But it seems to me that even if your current viewpoint prevents you from accepting the claim of Jewish rights, perhaps you will be able to accept the security claim.

You are correct that in light of the de facto surrender (in secret, against the will of the public, without any Knesset decision and against the law) of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, there is a certain probability that my entrance to the Mount would initially arouse attempts to react violently. Does capitulation to the Arab threat of violence bring quiet? Perhaps, in the not-so-distant future, it will create a security threat and war under much more difficult conditions?

It seems to me that our experience on every front on which we have tested the capitulation innovation is completely clear. Both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have become legitimate targets for rocket attacks as a result of our recent withdrawals. As a Jerusalemite, you certainly must remember the exploding buses. Try to remember a similar attack before the Oslo Accords. Violence is like a malignant growth. The operation to remove it is painful, but capitulation brings about disaster.

Simple logic shows that it is not he who refuses to capitulate to violence and demands his legal and ethical right to enter the Mount who is irresponsible, but vice versa. Those who evade their responsibility to maintain Israeli sovereignty on the Mount are irresponsible. Ultimately, they will find themselves in a never-ending bloody conflict over our sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel. The thousands of Oslo victims – soldiers and civilians – who paid with their lives, and the constant danger that there will be more victims – are the direct result of this irresponsibility.

3. Democracy:
This claim is a bit awkward, both from a factual standpoint and even more so – in its essence.

I do not know how you justify your statement that I do not represent the views of the majority of citizens. I have read numerous studies that reinforce the fact that our nation feels a strong connection to the Temple Mount.

But that really does not matter. The argument that a Knesset Member must toe the line of the majority – not because it is law, but because it is the majority opinion! – may be applicable to the understanding of democracy in the People's Republic of China. There is no need to further belabor the point and I suggest that you rethink your position.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary

By Tuvia Brodie

Happy Anniversary!
On May 14, 1948—the fifth day of the Hebrew month, Iyar--the Jews of Israel formally declared the creation of Medinat Yisroel, the State of Israel. Since that date, the world has seen Biblical prophecy come true. These prophecies are the word of the G-d of Israel. They are ancient words, written into the human record during a period of Jewish history that unfolded between the Exodus from Egypt and the final prophet, Malachi, across approximately 940 years. For Jews who believe that the words of Tanach (Jewish Bible) are from the G-d of Israel, those 940 years took place between (app) 3,330 and 2,390 years ago.
For Jews who do not accept the Divine origin of their Tanach, there are the Dead Sea Scrolls. These parchments and their fragments have been dated as written between 1,900 -2,300 years ago, and their Jewish Biblical content is strikingly similar to the Tanach texts we use today (textual differences are generally attributed to official Jewish compilation work unfolding during (and beyond) this same period). The modern science of dating ancient materials confirms that the word of the G-d of Israel has been faithfully kept, copied and used by His people—for more than 2,000 years.
Israel does not exist today because of Western guilt for the Holocaust, as some argue. Israel does not exist because European Jews convinced Western colonial powers to usurp Arab land for Jews, in order to create a colonial outpost for  exploiting Arab treasure, as some proclaim. Israel exists today for one reason only:  the G-d of Israel ordained it to be—and spoke of it to all mankind through the Jewish Tanach more than two centuries ago. 
Today, Jews return to Israel, just as G-d promised. Today, Jews also return religiously to G-d in record numbers--just as G-d promised. These Jews—and many Christians--understand that the Jewish Tanach is unparalleled in its ability to predict accurately the future of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people and its G-d are unique. No other record in human history has so correctly predicted so many public, national events that were prophesied to begin more than three hundred years after being written:
-The Jewish Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed;
-The Jewish nation—we believe it turned out to be 80- 90 per cent, perhaps higher—would be exiled from their land;
-during that exile, Jews would be scattered;
-in exile, Jews would be persecuted;
-during that exile, the land of Israel would become and remain a desert for everyone, both Jew and non-Jew;
-then, per the word of the G-d of Israel, Jews would return to Israel;
-Hebrew would be revived as the official spoken language of Israel;
-As Jews returned, the desert would end its exilic desolation and blossom again;
-a Jewish religious revival would bring Jews back to G-d;
-Israel would become noteworthy among the nations of the world;
-Israel would become a success among the nations;
-Israel would rise like a lion before her enemies;
-As the day of the Final Redemption draws near, nations will rise up to destroy Israel.
These predictions, recorded more than 2,300 years ago, are now Jewish historical Truth. As these words once prophesied future promise, they now describe our modern present.
No text of man has ever matched such publicized predictions. No other religion has such an ancient list of so many prophesies-come-true.
Nothing that man has done equals this record of miracle. It is only the word of the G-d of Israel that stands triumphant—and these words all focus on Israel.
Now, this week, Jews in Israel celebrate the State’s 65th anniversary. More than two hundred years ago, the great religious leader, the Gaon of Vilna, wrote that we will all know we stand upon the threshold of our Final Redemption when four things have happened:
-600,000 Jews live in Israel;
-Jews come to Israel to claim and rebuild their land;
-the city of Jerusalem is rebuilt;
-the Torah laws of the land have been re-instituted.
Today, Israel has more than six million Jews. Today, Jews claim and rebuild their land. Today, the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt; and today, the Torah laws of the land described by the Gaon have been reinstituted.
As we celebrate our 65th anniversary, we face another reality: according to a 2012 survey, 65 per cent of Israel’s Jews believe that our Torah’s Commandments are of Divine origin.
The Jews of Israel are certainly far from perfect. Ritual observance is not as widespread as many of us want it to be. But Jews in Israel, despite their imperfection, stand today ready to praise the G-d of Israel just as readily as they stand to sing Israel’s national anthem. We may not look it, but we are G-d’s people. We believe in the G-d of Israel. We believe in Israel.
Happy anniversary.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Song for Modern Israel

By Tuvia Brodie

Israel is not perfect. According to a 2012 study by the Gutman Center of the Israel Democracy Institute, only 22 per cent of Israelis consider themselves either ‘dati’ (religious) or ‘Haredi’ (ultra-religious).
For a nation that is supposed to have a Destiny linked to G-d, a religious segment of just 22 per cent of population doesn’t seem like a very good number. It’s a poor showing for G-d. It confirms what many believe: Israel is no place for a religious Jew.
But a closer look at this study reveals a different picture. Israel may not be a religious sink-hole. Israel may actually be ‘G-d’s place’.
The study tells us that 80 per cent of Israelis say they believe in G-d. More significant, 77 per cent say they believe that the Hand of G-d directs mankind and the world; 72 per cent believe that prayer affects what happens to us; and 65 per cent accept the Torah’s Commandments as Divine in origin.
These are not numbers characteristic of a nation uninterested in religion. Instead, they suggest that, contrary to what we believe about ourselves, G-d—and His Torah—live in Israel.
These numbers also reveal that we may have an obsession with putting people into boxes. We categorize according to labels—and by doing that, we get it all wrong.
According to the labels we design, Israel has little interest in G-d. Israel is either secular or (if we believe what we read) on the verge of becoming completely anti-religious.
But the deeper truth is, Israel is the only place in the world where you can get on a bus and see women who are in no way dressed in a ‘proper’ manner reading Psalms, called, ‘Tehillim’—a practice that, in America, is almost exclusively reserved for the ‘religious’; and Israel may also be the only place in the world where  the supposedly ‘non-religious’  regularly say, ‘Baruch HaShem’ (thank G-d), something found in exile mostly from the religious.
These anecdotal experiences, when combined with the Gutman results, suggest that there may be an awareness of G-d and Torah here that has not been accounted for. Instead of apostasy, Israel appears to have a super-majority who not only believe that G-d controls our daily lives, but that our Torah and its Commandments come directly from Him.
No other nation has such a super-majority.
Certainly, Jews in Israel are weak in ritual observance. But they freely admit it (by refusing to call themselves ‘religious’); they appear brutally honest about the fact that they do not measure up to Judaism’s high standards. But they still believe with a complete belief in the Power of G-d. As more than one such Jew has said, ‘I don’t call myself religious because I don’t follow the rules; I apologize for that; but I know who the Boss is; it’s Him, the One Above’.
That is not the statement of an apostate.
To be more accurate in our thinking, perhaps we should call these Jews our silent majority. Yes, they are not a true majority. But, while hidden in the census statistics, they amount to Israel’s largest religious segment (those who accept G-d and Torah but who do not practice ritual). We might be wise to refer to these Jews as our ‘majority’ because when we unite with them, they give us the super-majority we need to build the foundation for our Destiny.
We need that foundation. We need that super-majority. We need its faith. We need its belief that G-d is the Master and His Torah is real. With such a foundation, our Destiny can be ours—but only if we unite, creating a single voice from that 77 per cent supermajority which understands G-d’s Mastery over this world.
When we read the interpretative translation of the Stone edition of our Song of Songs (see The Chumash, The ArtScroll Series, Mesorah Press, Brooklyn, New York, July, 1993, pp. 1263-1266), we get a better understanding of this non-perfect ‘silent majority’. As this translation suggests, the nations should not scorn Israel with its contempt because she is less than pure (ibid, 1:6) or because she has become the keeper of a vineyard of idols (1:6)—for G-d may not view us with the same disgust. He knows we are sinful and imperfect and yet sings to us, ‘Behold you are lovely, my friend, behold you are lovely’ (ibid, 1265, 4:1); and when Israel calls itself blackened with sin but comely with virtue (1:5), G-d does not object.
Together with this silent majority, we can stand before the nations and speak as one, saying, while you may wish me to turn away from my G-d—and while I have faltered in  this regard—I still declare,  ‘My faith is as firm as a wall..and …I become in His eyes like a bride found perfect’ “(ibid, p. 1268, 8:10).
G-d does not object to this self-description. Instead, he replies, ‘Oh, my beloved…’ (8:13).
We might be wise to follow His example.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

By Michael Fuah

Holocaust Day, commemorated this past week, is the day that we memorialize what happened when G-d turned His face from us and allowed the Holocaust to happen - a major desecration of His Name in the world. "And they desecrated My Holy Name when it was said about them, 'These are G -d's nation and they have gone out of His Land.'" The exile itself is a desecration of G-d's Name, says the prophet in Ezekiel 36:20.

But Ezekiel continues his prophecy: "And I will say, 'It is not for your sake that I do this, House of Israel, but for the sake of My Holy Name that you have desecrated among the nations. And I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, and the nations will know that I am G-d, says Hashem Elokim. And I will take you from the nations and I will gather you from all the lands and I will bring you to your Land."

Israel's Independence Day represents just the opposite of the Holocaust: a sanctification of G-d's Name. On the ground, however, things seem to have gone awry. Since the establishment of the State of Israel and particularly when most of our Land was liberated in the Six Day War, we did not officially acknowledge and thank G-d for His miracles. The "My might and power of my hand" syndrome has not yet been dispelled. As a nation, Israel has yet to recognize that it was G-d behind the momentous and miraculous events that gave birth to the State of Israel.

G-d's directing hand, though, does not allow us to deceive ourselves for long. Our attempts to solve the "Jewish problem," to "normalize" the Jewish Nation and to transform it into a nation like all other nations is shattering before our eyes. The more that we try to be normal and the more that we lose our connection to our Jewish identity - the more that we lose our national legitimacy.

This year we will celebrate Independence Day with thanks to G-d for the wonderful opportunity that He has given us. In addition, we must promise ourselves to work hard to establish Jewish leadership that will give credit where credit is due: to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. We need real Jewish leadership that will help us to be ourselves: the Jewish Nation, the children of the Creator, who are working to perfect the world. Our independence and freedom depend on it. 

Shabbat Shalom

Look who’s watching Jewish Liberals

By Tuvia Brodie

US President Barack Obama’s pre-Passover 2013 visit to Israel is now ancient history. As usual, Israelis will deal with whatever follows. They’ll be okay. What happens to Jewish Liberals, however, is not so clear.   
Since 2008, Jewish Liberals, by definition self-hating Jews who despise their  culture, their faith and their Gd, and worship liberalism rather than Judaism have led the parade that has made Barack Obama ‘Israel’s greatest friend’. They were the ones who told the President he must push peace onto Israel.  They trumpeted his receiving a Nobel Prize for Peace before he’d lifted a finger for peace. They assured him that a two-state solution was possible. They assured him that Israel was responsible for that solution. They assured him that peace would come if Israel were pressured.
They ignored fact. They ignored reality. Instead, they gave the President a Hollywood fantasy.
For the Jewish Liberal, Obama’s trip to Israel was a dream-come-true. Recall the Homepage for Americans for Peace Now. They called upon the President to use his ‘remarkable’ skills to bring peace and security to Israel. The J Street Homepage couldn’t tell us often enough how desperately they wanted the President to bring peace.
It didn’t work out that way. The President went to Ramallah and the Arabs practically rioted. Wherever he went, Arabs rose to spit their hatred at him.
What happened?
What happened was, these apostate Liberal Jews betray their hero and encourage Jew-hate by turning their backs on Israel. They reject fact to promote lies. They fill with such self-hate they have come to suffer from a political manic-depression (metaphor adapted from Sherman Alexie): in their manic stage, they tell lies to the world, claiming that the Arab is right, the Jew is wrong and Israel must be coerced into ‘peace’. Then, in their depressive stage, they actually believe these lies—and are consumed by an irrational guilt for supporting an Israel which wouldn’t do their bidding.
Convinced they had found the true gospel for peace, they told the President that their fantasy was truth: ignore the Arab; pressure  Israel.
But the real truth began to leak out just days before the Israel visit began. A Gallup poll released on March 17 in America showed overwhelming American support for Israel—64% of respondents leaning towards Israel, just 12% leaning towards Arabs. As if to underscore the reason for this truth, Arabs—the next day, March 18--in Bethlehem threw shoes and garbage at vehicles arriving from the US Consulate in Jerusalem. Posters of Obama were ripped down and spat upon.
Could Americans and Arabs know something Jewish Liberals don't?
That same day, March 18, the official Palestinian Authority news outlet, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published an editorial. That editorial didn’t praise Obama. Instead, it blamed the United States for the 9/11 World trade Center attacks—and praised Adolph Hitler.
On March 19th, the day before Obama landed in Israel, a poll in Israel revealed that 80% of Israelis do not see peace anytime soon.
The next day, as Air Force One flew to Israel, the AP reported, with an air of pessimism, that ‘US officials have set expectations low for the [President’s] trip’; the White House then stressed that ‘there is no peace initiative to be presented by the President’. Suddenly, it appeared that the President had become cautious regarding the Jewish Liberal fantasy.
Nevertheless, Jewish Liberals did what they do best: they ignored reality. They celebrated their President’s trip with a delight few others shared. The J Street and American Peace Now Homepages gushed over the visit. They gushed over the possibility to push Israel. They ignored the fact that the Arabs rejected their peace dream. Then, they ignored Arab hate. Instead, they re-affirmed their demand that Obama press Israel into a ‘two-state solution’. They didn’t care what Arabs did.  
The AP’s ‘air of pessimism’ was nowhere to be seen.
Now, the entire world sees how Jewish Liberals have betrayed their President. After all, the world will claim, these Jews fought hard to push the President into Israel. They cheered the President into Ramallah. They set the stage so that world news outlets could report how the US was loved by Israelis and reviled by Arabs.
No wonder Jewish Liberals are depressed. They’ve just shown how utterly irrational they are; and they did it in front of the entire world. Worse, once they stood on that stage, they pushed their best friend, their chosen Savior, the President of the United States, under the Arab bus.
The Jew-haters of the world are not going to forget that. They will not forget what these Jews have done to the image of America’s Chosen One.
Jewish Liberals ignore it all. Instead, they now attempt to sell their fantasy directly to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: they send him a letter urging him to yield to those who cannot stop announcing they want to eliminate Israel from the world map.
Jew-haters watch these Jews with interest as Jewish Liberals will prove useful to their goals time and time again.

Monday, April 08, 2013

JPOST: Feiglin: Israel misuses Holocaust for politics

Likud MK says foreign leaders shouldn't be brought to Yad Vashem because Israel uses Holocaust as tool to justify existence.

Likudnik Moshe Feiglin at the Kotel
Likudnik Moshe Feiglin at the Kotel Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Israel must stop using the Holocaust to score political points and should no longer bring foreign leaders and dignitaries to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin (Likud) told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.
In comments he originally make at a conference in Shoham Thursday, first revealed by Ma’ariv, Feiglin said that “Israel has wrongly used the Holocaust as a tool to justify our existence and sovereignty here.”
“They have made it as if we have to have a Jewish state because of the Holocaust,” he told the Post. “When the diplomats are brought to Yad Vashem, they are speechless. But giving only security reasons for being here does not work with new generations in Europe who care about rights. The other side’s incorrect arguments about the land being theirs are more persuasive than the pragmatic arguments about what would happen if there were no Jewish state.”
Feiglin insisted that “The reason for the state of Israel, for our existence, is not security, but our national goal. But the Holocaust teaches us that we should always be strong, not only physically but also morally.
“Without understanding the deep justification for our existence here in the land of Israel, no army will help us. This is a very important point.”
Feiglin also complained about the poor financial support Israeli governments have given Holocaust survivors over the past several decades.
Feiglin attended the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem Sunday night. He brought along a neighbor who is a Holocaust survivor who fought in Israel's wars.“The past lack of support for Holocaust survivors was due to resenting them and blaming them for not fighting like we did in Israel,” he said. “This is incorrect historically because in 1948 huge sums of our fighters were Holocaust survivors.”
Although Feiglin did not lose relatives in the Holocaust, he wrote on his Facebook page that he always took Holocaust Remembrance Day seriously and even used to fast on that day.
“When we went to Yad Vashem on school trips and I saw a picture of a German soldier cutting a Jew’s beard, I decided that when I would grow up, I would take revenge for that Jew by growing a beard.” he wrote. “I kept that promise.”
Feiglin, who refused to lease a German car from the Knesset, said Israel should reconsider how it has built its relations with Germany.
As to tools for stemming the tide of anti-Semitism in the world, Feiglin said, “When Israel radiates self-assurance...
Jews feel much more secure everywhere and the level of anti-Semitism goes down. On the other hand, when Israel fails to reflect our basic right to this land, as we did when we signed the Oslo agreement and shook the hands of the head of the PLO – the organization that is meant to liberate the land of Israel from the Jews... then the level of anti-Semitism rises,” Feiglin said.

Feiglin: State Buying Muslim Honor with Israeli Pride

Israel is sacrificing its sovereignty and national honor for the sake of Muslim quiet, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) said Wednesday, after he was barred from the Temple Mount over fears his visit would be met with a Muslim riot.

Feiglin warned that the current approach actually encourages Muslim violence.

“Like the apology over violence on the [Mavi] Marmara – this morning, on the Temple Mount, it was decided to buy Muslim silence with the coin of lost sovereignty and Israeli national pride,” he wrote on Facebook. “This approach always leads to a much more difficult war down the line.”

Feiglin noted that after his last visit to the Temple Mount led to the holy site being closed down due to a Muslim riot, he gave police plenty of advance notice that he planned to visit again. The visit was approved, he said, yet when he arrived at the site he was told he could not enter.

“The explanation given was that the Muslim mob is waiting for me to come in order to start protesting. I asked the commander why he isn’t ordering his people to remove the lawbreakers from the Mount, and instead is punishing the law-abiding party,” Feiglin said. “The answer was, ‘That’s the situation. ‘”

“This is very problematic for two reasons,” he continued. “First of all, this is exactly the same encouragement to violence that the Muslim world got when the lawbreakers from the Marmara got an Israeli apology. That is – removing me from the Mount is what will encourage violence.”

“But the more serious, more significant aspect of this is the fact that a Member of Knesset, a representative of Israel as a sovereign state, is prevented from ascending [the Mount] while any random tourist can go up with no problem,” Feiglin said.

“If, during my last visit, when an officer told me that the Temple Mount is under Muslim sovereignty there was room to hope that it was just an unfortunate slip of the tongue, the Israel Police have proved that it was not a slip of the tongue. Israeli authorities since 1967 have allowed the erosion of Israeli sovereignty on the Mount,” he warned.

“I will keep fighting with every means at my disposal, both in the public realm and in parliament, to restore Israeli sovereignty to the heart of the nation, the Temple Mount,” Feiglin declared.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

What are they Crying About?

By Moshe Feiglin

25 Nissan, 5773
April 5, '13

Translated from the Makor Rishon newspaper

It is difficult for us to understand the ultra-Orthodox reaction to its exclusion from the government coalition. After all, that's how it goes in politics: Sometimes you are in, sometimes you are out. For many long years, the ultra-Orthodox were in the coalition and the Religious Zionists were out. Now they have changed places. So what? Why all the lamenting, cries of despair and threats of destruction of the settlements, G-d forbid? Everybody who boasts some common sense knows that nobody is going to send the yeshiva boys to prison camps and nobody seriously learning Torah is going to have to stop. What is causing such an exaggerated ultra-Orthodox reaction? It doesn't make them look very good, so why throw years of friendly cooperation into the trashcan? Why incite baseless hatred in their constituency? What is going on here?

To understand the ultra-Orthodox, Religious Zionists must remember how they felt and reacted after the Expulsion from Gush Katif. "How can you possibly compare the two?" you may want to ask. "Entire communities were razed in Gush Katif and with the ultra-Orthodox, it is simply a questions of politics."

That is true. The destruction experienced by the Religious Zionists was entirely real and the pain of the expelled - unbearable. But the intensity of the grief and the Religious Zionist reaction to the Expulsion were much more than simple sharing in the pain of those driven from their homes. Settlements were destroyed before Gush Katif and subsequently, as well.
In Gush Katif something much bigger than houses was destroyed. It seemed that what was destroyed there was ideology. That was the source of the deep pain and grief. That was what motivated the lamentation and the heartbreaking images; images like the picture of the Netzarim expellees carrying the menorah from their synagogue, creating an immediate association with the image of the menorah from the Beit Hamikdash being carried by the Jews exiled from Jerusalem.

That same destruction of ideology is what is being experienced now by the ultra Orthodox. Interestingly, the reaction of the Religious Zionists then and the ultra-Orthodox now are amazingly similar.

Until the expulsion from Gush Katif, the Religious Zionists still believed that the redemption process was on "automatic pilot." True, there were some malfunctions here and there – some of them major- but they could be explained away or ignored. In Yamit, Israel succumbed to the enticement of 'peace' and Oslo could be blamed on the Left. But when the Expulsion took place, Yair Lapid explained that "We had to teach you a lesson." In other words, we drove you from your homes and destroyed your communities because we – the mainstream of the return to Zion – are simply unwilling to accept your interpretation, your ideology and your Rabbi Kook. So please get out of our sight and let us live our daily lives without your unbearable messianics.
That is why we cried. We cried bitterly. Not only about Gush Katif. We cried because they threw us out, threw out our belongings after us and slammed the door shut – and life in Israel continued as if nothing had happened. It was much more than Gush Katif: It was the ideological breaking point and humiliation. The tears were meant to make our mainstream "father and mother" open the door for us once again.

Now that we understand what happened to the Religious Zionists, we can understand what the ultra-Orthodox are experiencing. Certainly not with the same intensity, for to them, Zionism is much less a father and mother than to the Religious Zionists. But it is the same insult, based on the ultra-Orthodox feeling of belonging to the State. The Neturai Karta sect, for example, vociferously opposed to the State, was not insulted at all.

In other words, the more insulted the ultra-Orthodox are, the more they show how much they belong to the collective. And that is good news.

The ultra-Orthodox were also on a sort of automatic pilot. Their society did not talk about the redemptive process and all sorts of glorious concepts. They simply waited for Mashiach. They learned Torah, fulfilled the directive to settle the Land of Israel in their own way and protected their communities from the winds of heresy with all their might. The irreverent Zionists who suddenly decided to play at state-making reshuffled all their cards. After all, it cannot be that the Mashiach wears an Israeli farmer's hat. For the ultra-Orthodox, a serene prayer at the Western Wall under the enlightened flag of her majesty is ten times better than the unnecessary wars that the 'shgotzim' brought upon us.

But somehow, their logic continues, the 'shgotzim' actually established a successful state. And to prove how serious they were, they even asked us to join in on the democratic game. Now that you have engaged us against our will in a state that we do not want, we will try to salvage as much as possible for our communities.

At first, it seemed that the competing religious ideology that viewed Zionism as a positive development was flourishing. The National Religious Party had 12 Knesset seats; they controlled the religious institutions; they were the source for Israel's Chief Rabbis and engaged in dialogue with the State. The ultra Orthodox approach seemed to have reached its end.
But then everything changed. The Religious Zionists began to sink, their rabbis looked to the ultra Orthodox rabbis for approval, their political institutions became increasingly less influential, the State scorned them and their leaders paid homage to the rabbis in ultra Orthodox Bnei Brak – and not to the rabbis in Religious Zionist Kiryat Moshe.

For an entire generation, it seemed that the ultra Orthodox ideology was more realistic. The proof of that was Aryeh Deri's consistent observation that no government could be formed without Shas – true, until the past elections. And then it turned out that a government could be formed without Shas –with those very same Religious Zionists whose influence had almost dissipated.

That is how the ultra-Orthodox ideological self-confidence evaporated –to be replaced by cries of pain and insult. It is always easiest to blame the rest of the world and not to make an accounting of your own ideology. That's fine. The Religious Zionists did the same thing. But ultimately, reality prevails.

Because in truth, the Religious Zionist ideology was not destroyed. Its foundations were genuine. Those foundations also exist in ultra-Orthodox ideology.

The Religious Zionists correctly understand the redemptive process. But their abundance of love caused them to relate to the State as a means and not as an end. Danger! From this point, it is very easy to descend into 'soft fascism." It is a type of idol worship, as the halachic decisions made by some Religious Zionist rabbis obligating soldiers to obey orders to drive Jews from their homes testify. When the individual belongs to the State and not vice versa; when the State is both father and mother to its citizens, the resulting crisis is just a matter of time.

For their part, the ultra-Orthodox correctly understand the danger of the state – any state. But they completely miss the redemptive process, leaving themselves outside of history and even outside of society.
Just as the Gush Katif crisis opened the Religious Zionists up to their surrounding Israelis, creating diversity and new options, the same will happen now to the ultra-Orthodox. Everybody will gain from this process – first and foremost, the State of Israel and Israeli society.

The State of Israel is stuck: Not only does it not have an answer for the missiles from Gaza. Bereft of its faith, it is incapable of dealing with all the deep-level challenges of our era. That faith exists among believers of all stripes and all ideologies who will rise out of the crises to create a faith-based Israeli culture – a new type of vision.