How One Hunger-striking Terrorist Defeated the State of Israel
Israel has given terrorists the ultimate weapon.
By Moshe Feiglin
As soon as Israel entered into negotiations with the hunger-striking terrorist, Muhammad Alan, he won. It makes no difference for how long he will be sent abroad. My guess is that he will not be sent abroad at all, and one way or another, he will simply be released from prison. Clearly, he has triumphed.
How did he win? How did one hunger-striking terrorist defeat an entire state? The answer is that we deposited the most potent of weapons directly into his hands: the weapon called justice.
It began in 1967, when our holy Land was redeemed from the Jordanian occupation. We did not claim the justice of our own cause and called our homeland “territories”. The Land of the Bible, the place where our most ancient history is rooted – and vastly more important – the place upon which our future hinges, the place to which we remained faithful and to which we returned – is the place in which our destiny awaits us. Our Land is the place that gives our existence significance and reason. But we turned our backs on our Land and turned it into negotiable real estate.
With the Oslo Accords in 1995, we adopted a different ‘justice’. We recognized the existence of a new ‘nation’ on the face of the earth; a ‘nation’ that was fabricated for only one reason: to create a different justice in exchange for our own. A new ‘nation’ was born. It is a ‘nation’ that never existed and whose demands revolve exclusively around land under Jewish control; a nation whose existential purpose is not to have a state of its own, but to negate the Jewish state.
We didn’t give Muhammad the justice weapon because we wanted peace or because demographics forced us to do so. After all, our surrender of justice has led to nothing but bloodshed. We handed Muhammad the justice weapon because we are afraid of ourselves and consistently flee our identity and the meaning of our existence.
That is how we turned into occupiers in our estranged Land.
That is how we turned bloodthirsty murderers into freedom fighters.
And that is how we turned the world, which, with the Balfour Declaration, had recognized full Jewish sovereignty over both banks of the Jordan and had joined forces to help us return to our Land – into a place that increasingly sees Israel as a ‘mistake’ and the Israelis as the new Nazis.
With all our might, we attempted to exchange our lost justice for an enlightened and moral veneer. True, we said, we are ‘occupiers’. But we will leave as soon as possible. Look, we did precisely that in Gaza and all that we got is terror. So we must be careful. We are occupiers without an enemy. We do not want Muhammad’s land at all. After all, we signed peace accords with them and the minute he enters into negotiations with us – we will leave.
The world no longer buys this rubbish. But what is important for this discussion is to remember that we cannot make war against Muhammad. We need him to take the Land that forces our identity upon us – off our hands. That is why we do not treat him as a captive enemy soldier, but rather, as a sort of unruly citizen. As opposed to an enemy soldier, a citizen cannot be deported, or kept in captivity if he remains dangerous. The citizen justifiably has legal rights.
And that is how Muhammad murders women and children and remains just while we treat him as a hostile citizen of an ambiguous entity. All the while, we dig our heels deeper and deeper into our lack of justice – and international hostility intensifies.
We do not treat Muhammad as a soldier, a captive or an enemy because we simply cannot say, “This is our Land.” Instead, we bring the Muhammad Alan case in front of the civil court. Clearly though, the civil system cannot deal with this type of ‘crime.” Instead, it turns to administrative detention. That is an unacceptable weapon, a weapon that should never be introduced into the arena. And when the prisoner under administrative detention decides to hunger strike, the State introduces forced feeding.
Administrative detention and forced feeding are the features of a dictatorship.
It turns out that it is impossible to exchange justice for morality and humanism. Ultimately, they will lead to dictatorship. There is no such thing as enlightened occupation. No matter how strong he is, the enlightened occupier will always be defeated by one determined hunger-striker.
In order to triumph, survive and thrive in our Land, there is no choice but to return to our own justice; to return to ourselves. To return to our identity.