We return to Trump’s historic declaration on Jerusalem yesterday. We are talking with the Chairman of the Zehut party, Former MK Mr. Moshe Feiglin. Good morning to you.
Good morning, Aryeh. The rain fell yesterday mostly in Jerusalem.
The Americans took care of that.
They wanted to shine up the city in honor of the historic declaration.
Trump took care of that for us, also.
Surely you celebrated President Trump’s announcement last night.
As a believing person, I was quick to make the Shehecheyanu blessing for good news, including saying G-d’s Name. It is certainly an historical event, moving, extraordinarily positive – no doubt about it.
Trump, you know, also has the Arab world – he has to worry about Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians. Europe as well. He talked about the two-state solution. It didn’t mar your happiness or the blessing that you recited?
You know, Aryeh, I listened to the original version in English. There was a Hebrew translation that more or less said the opposite, so I went back to the internet and listened to the original version. Trump said that if the two sides will be interested in the two-state solution, the US will support it. That is what he said.
That also appears in the translation, by the way.
In other words, Trump, despite all the constraints that you mentioned, and we must salute him for this – left all the keys in the hands of the government of Israel. The simple, self-evident, right measure for Israel’s government to take now is to move the Government District – the Knesset, the government offices, the High Court – from the western part of Jerusalem to the eastern part.
We already have a Government District in the eastern part of the city. It has been there for many years. It was a decision made by the late Menachem Begin. But no world representatives go there. We have a number of government ministries that are more or less boycotted by the world.
They are boycotted because in practice, our hearts remain in the western part of the city. We have to make the decision that Trump made. First of all, for ourselves. If the Knesset will be in eastern Jerusalem, everybody will go there. Israel has to imbue President Trump’s historic, important declaration with practical content and meaning.
Yesterday, commentators correctly noted that all the symbols of government that he mentioned are in western Jerusalem: The President’s Residence, the Knesset, the Prime Minister’s Office – none of those are in eastern Jerusalem. It is no coincidence. This time he read from a written document, he remained very close to the teleprompter.
Right, right. This morning we also heard that Czechoslovakia is recognizing (Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – ed) but explicitly said only western Jerusalem. Trump, of course did not say that. It is our duty – the duty of the State of Israel and the government of Israel – to create the processes that preserves the unity of the city, its coherence, that the Old City, the city holy to Israel from time immemorial will become entrenched in the world’s consciousness as the city of the Nation of Israel.
Tell me, the Hamas is already threatening. OK, the Palestinians of course are opposed and are threatening. Hamas, though, is threatening even more. It is threatening not only to call for a strike, but to open the gates of hell, and to our great sorrow, we have learned the hard way what this terror organization is capable of doing.
Thank G-d, we have been in existence 3000 years before Hamas, and we will exist many years after it. The Hamas opens the gates of hell primarily for the Arab residents of Gaza and for itself. We must understand that the self-definition of the so-called Palestinian nation is not the establishment of a state for itself, but rather the destruction of the State of Israel. In Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv and in every other place. We do not have to worry too much about that.
Not to worry about that. Also about what Trump said that he is leaving decisions on borders and sovereignty to the sides? That he is not getting involved in that?
Right, and it is mistaken, as some commentators are attempting to explain his words – as if there is some price that he is hinting at that Israel will have to pay and give up in some future negotiations. That is not at all what he said, that is not where he is putting pressure. What he actually said is that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish Nation. Now what you decide is up to you. That is actually what President Trump’s declaration means. If I could give it a more creative illustration: The State of Israel today is like a little boy who is being taken to first grade. Trump is the mother, pulling the hesitant boy into the next stage of his life. It is a shame that the State of Israel did not initiate and lead these moves, but rather the faith-based American –and not only American – world. But now we must assume our historic role.
By the way, the Balfour Declaration was also announced in the merit of a faith-based foreign minister and prime minister in England one hundred years ago. In other words, we see an historic full circle. First, the the nations of the world agreed that the Land of Israel belongs to the Nation of Israel on a physical plane. Now there is a full circle, with the leader of the nations of the world saying that this Land also belongs to the Nation of Israel on a spiritual level - also from the aspect of the message that must emanate from Jerusalem.
I thank you former MK Moshe Feiglin, currently Chairman of the Zehut party, do you plan to run in the elections? There are so many parties on the Right that are stronger. What are the chances that you will succeed in making a comeback?
That is what I intend to do. We are running with all our might, and according to all scales, there is definitely going to be a big, positive surprise for the Nation of Israel.
We will see…Thank you, good morning.