Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Old New Jew

By Moshe Feiglin
13 Shevat 5770
Jan. 28, '10

Translated from the article in Makor Rishon

The goy drew a circle on the ground, stood the Jew inside and triumphantly declared, "If you leave the circle, you're a dead man!"
He then proceeded to rob the Jew's wife and went on his way. When the danger had passed, the wife angrily said to her husband, "Why didn't you help me? Don't you have any self-respect?"
"Didn't you see?" the husband retorted. "While the goy was robbing you, I put my foot out of the circle."

There is no need to explain what this joke reminded me of. Somebody in Israel's Foreign Ministry dared step out of the circle. But in today's reality, the joke continues. The goy, after he has robbed the Jew's wife, notices that her husband stepped out of the circle and demands an apology. Then the Jew boasts to his wife that he didn't apologize exactly the way the goy demanded.

I have a sinking feeling that this joke will be continued. Astute observers of the joke called Israel's foreign relations can easily guess how the diplomatic crisis between Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister and the Turkish ambassador will progress. (This article was written last Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday evening, the Jew had apologized once again, in the language dictated by the goy.)

Israel's relations with Turkey, which are actually part and parcel of Israel's relations with England, Sweden, Egypt and actually - all the nations of the world - epitomize the sad story of Zionism.

We wanted to be a normal nation so badly. "On the day that the Jewish State is established, anti-Semitism will disappear," Herzl promised. Well, at least the first part of his dream was fulfilled.

The second half, though, smolders deep within our being, giving us no rest. The desire to be normal, to be part of the "family of nations," to be rid of the Diaspora hunch on our backs, to purge ourselves of our Jewish destiny - is actually the inner, founding ethos of the State of Israel. It is also the open secret of its infirmity and its Achilles heel. It is the vicious cycle from which we cannot extricate ourselves.

In the whole world, there is not a leader more dismal than Abu Mazen. He is a scarecrow set up in Ramallah by Israel, surviving there only with the help of the IDF. But this scarecrow stands Netanyahu in a circle and makes conditions for his very willingness to speak with him. And Netanyahu allows the "bully" to rob him of his right to build our Land, promises him total retreat before "negotiations" even begin and then boasts to the people he was supposed to defend - a.k.a. the Israeli public - that he does not agree to pre-conditions. We would be better off if the Jew from the joke was prime minister. At least he had to deal with a genuine bully.

From where does Abu Mazen get his chutzpah? From where do the Bedouins and Israel's Arabs get theirs? How is it that the spy, former Knesset Member Azmi Bashara was allowed to escape to Jordan and continues to receive a hefty Knesset pension? How has Israel been transformed from a local superpower to a doormat for the whole world?

We are experiencing a closing of the circle. First, there was the Jew from the joke. After that, came the proud Zionists and created the new Jew, who knew how to fight back hard. "You can call me a Jew if you would like," explains Yudka the Pioneer in Haim Hazzaz's story. "But I am no longer a Jew - I am a Zionist."

Our new Jew establishes a state that is not Jewish. It is Zionist. Together with the curse of the exile and the spinelessness that were rightfully shed, the new state also sheds its Jewish destiny and disengages from the long chain of Jewish heritage - from our Forefathers, from the ethos of the Exodus from Egypt, from King David, from the Holy Temple, from the Diaspora, from the Biblical and Talmudic epic - from everything.

But the values that Zionism pretended to establish in place of Judaism have evaporated. All that is left is reality TV, grotesque celebrity figures and a president who hates history. The only real remnant of Zionism is the aspiration that never fades; to be like everyone else, to be accepted, to stop being different.

And that means that we absolutely cannot have Turkey recalling its ambassador, because that would return us to the starting point that we tried to escape. And we absolutely cannot arrest Bashara, because in the high profile trial that would ensue, it would become clear that there is no such thing as an "Israeli Arab." It would be obvious that Israel must be a strictly Jewish state and that Yudka the Pioneer has failed.

We have come full circle. At soon as the non-Jews in Israel and the rest of the world understood that we needed them to fulfill our fantasy of the "new Jew", we became doormats. The strongest doormats in the world, replete with nuclear weapons and advanced technology - doormats that look and act more non-Jewish than the non-Jews. We have glittering Americans like Bibi, tough, proud Russians like Yvette and a Deputy Foreign Minister who has disconnected himself from his nation and married a Christian Evangelist.

The Zionist dialectic has turned us into first rate non-Jews. We have come full circle. The entire world looks at us and sees the Jew from the joke. It turns out that the new Jew is really the new, old Jew. With just one difference. He has sold not only his honor, but also his ancient culture - down the river.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tzipi Livni's Brother Praises Moshe Feiglin

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Livni's brother praises Moshe Feiglin

Jan. 19, 2010

Kadima leader Tzipi Livni's brother praised far-right Likud activist Moshe Feiglin at the annual dinner of Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) ideological forum at Ramat Gan's City Tower Hotel on Monday night.

Eli Livni, a lifelong Likud member who is secular, received a prize at the event for promoting Jewish education for secular students at the religious school that he runs.

He told The Jerusalem Post at the event that he "supports most of Manhigut Yehudit's political agenda."

Asked what he thought about the multiple speakers at the event who declared Feiglin Israel's next prime minister, Livni downplayed it, saying, "So what? I know someone else who thinks that," referring to his sister.

Feiglin predicted at the event that just like the Iron Curtain unexpectedly fell, the "elites" who he said run the country would eventually fall and men of faith would take over Israel's leadership.

"How can it be that [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad goes free around the world and no one thinks about arresting him while Israeli ministers fear going abroad?" Feiglin asked the crowd. "The reason for this nadir is not connected to the conflict with our neighbors. The problem is that we are suffering from leaders who lack faith."

When asked about Eli Livni's participation at the Manhigut Yehudit event, Kadima officials said "that should trouble the Likud, not us."

Tzipi Livni, meanwhile, endured a fierce attack in Monday's Kadima faction meeting from MK Shai Hermesh, who was outraged that she announced the appointment of MK Ronnie Bar-On as the new head of World Kadima without informing him and other MKs in advance.

Hermesh accused her of political thievery and said that she should have appointed a Kadima MK with experience dealing with the Jewish world, such as former Jewish Agency chairman Ze'ev Bielski, former Jewish Federations of North America-Israel Director-General Nachman Shai or a former Agency treasurer like Meir Sheetrit or himself.

"I blew up and told Tzipi, 'Are you crazy?'" Hermesh said after the closed-door meeting.

"Why don't you appoint someone who knows something about the Jewish world?"

Bar-On then called Hermesh "garbage" and told him to go back to the Likud, referring to reports that he negotiated leaving Kadima last month.

Shai said after the meeting that he had informed Livni that he was interested in the job, but when she said it would go to Bar-On, he decided not to push the matter.

Kadima officials responded that Livni did in fact consult with most of her faction MKs individually about the move and that legally she did not have to bring the appointment to a vote.

Manhigut Yehudit in the News: Jerusalem Post

Jan. 19, 2010
Greer Fay Cashman , THE JERUSALEM POST

IT HAD all the trappings of an election rally. They played the stirring campaign song. They stood up and cheered, and speaker after speaker came to the stage to praise the leader whose philosophy was also extolled in a documentary film. It was the third annual Jewish Leadership dinner at the Leonardo City Plaza Hotel in the heart of the Israel diamond complex. The ballroom was full to capacity, and MKs Yariv Levin and Danny Danon came to speak of the influence of the leader whom they hoped to see in the next Knesset. The leader in question was Moshe Feiglin, who is offering an alternative to current political norms and whose credo is to return the country to the people and to lead the state on a path of authentic Jewish values.

Feiglin is the nemesis of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who tried unsuccessfully to have him ousted from the party, or at least to prevent him from running for the Knesset. However the law was on Feiglin's side, and he did run in the Likud primaries in which he received 23.4 percent of the votes which put him in the 20th slot on the list. The reason that he is not an MK is that he was demoted to 36th place, which from a religious standpoint gives him much reason for hope because 36 is twice 18, and 18 is the gematria for life.

Speaking of Feiglin's faction in Likud, Levin said: "The target is not to get to the Knesset, but to the government." In fact most speakers referred to Feiglin as the next prime minister, and master of ceremonies Shmuel Sackett, who founded the movement with him, noted that attendance at the dinner was twice as large as last year. Both Levin and Danon were critical of the building freeze in settlements and declared that this was not the way of Likud.

When Feiglin got up to address the crowd, Sackett asked waiters to leave the room. Feiglin remonstrated mildly, saying: "You should have allowed them to stay. They might have learned something." The message that he wanted to convey was one of hope, direction and goals with a leadership "that will take us from the depths to which Israel has fallen, back to the heights."

Listing some of Israel's many accomplishments, Feiglin asked: "How is it that a nation that is so successful is losing its legitimacy in the eyes of the world? How can it be that [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and his cohorts are free to go anywhere they want in the world, while Israeli government ministers are in some countries under threat of being arrested for war crimes?" The reason for delegitimization and growing anti-Semitism had nothing to do with the Israel-Arab conflict, he said, "but because we suffer a leadership which has no faith."

Feiglin said that a succession of Israeli leaders had abandoned Jewish values, but he was optimistic that his movement would lead a nationwide return to such values. Explaining his unflagging optimism, Feiglin noted that "everyone said that the Iron Curtain would never come down - but it did."

Moshe Feiglin on Manhigut Mondays: Israel's Emergency Response in Haiti

Manhigut Yehudit Israel Dinner: Inspiration

We have been getting tremendous feedback from Monday's Manhigut Yehudit Israel dinner. The dinner gave both newcomers and veteran Manhigut Yehudit members a glimpse of how real Jewish leadership would look. It left the crowd inspired and eager to register more and more people for the Likud as we redouble our efforts to make the dream of Jewish leadership for Israel a reality.

"This is the best and most meaningful dinner we have attended in years," one of our guests wrote.
"I attended the dinner and loved it. When the people from the film held hands on the stage, I cried, because I've prayed for Jewish unity and there it was in front of me. If anyone besides the Moshiach can bring about Jewish unity, it's Moshe Feiglin," wrote another.
Someone else called and insisted that we hold a similar event in the near future, because he doesn't want to wait an entire year for the tremendous shot-in-the-arm that the dinner gave him.

Manhigut Yehudit supporter Rafi Farber wrote a blog entry about the dinner that is a must-quote:

Last night I went to my second Manhigut Yehudit annual dinner. I can sum it up in two sentences. Last year, the Manhigut dinner was charming. This year, it was magnificent.

The hall was spectacular. Smack in the middle of Ramat Gan. The food was high end, complete with sushi and those chef guys with the hats and the big sharp knives with two-pronged barbecue forks. And of course, as per any Manhigut event, there were secular, religious, Haredi, all chatting, munching, sipping, admiring the chef guy with the big sharp knife etc.

We all went inside, and I counted 41 tables .That means 410 people, the room packed. The first course was already set up, and I couldn't help but notice the caviar on the plate. The statement was, "We're not some cute little group anymore. Now we're serious. We're in the middle of Ramat Gan. And we're just getting started."

But enough about that. Here's the heart of the matter.

We watched a video called "Awakening," a film featuring several Manhigut supporters from different backgrounds from Haredi to secular to former radical leftist. There was one part I will never forget, and that is when Likud Central Committee member Emmanuel Gertel spoke candidly about how he began as an unbelieving Jew, but now his faith has been rekindled. That - he doesn't understand why - but he feels a deep need to build the Holy Temple, the Beit Hamikdash. He was crying as he said it.

I started tearing, too. But not just because of the raw emotion of the film. I hear it all the time - we should build the Temple, yada yada, yada. It doesn't move me, because I know it's just lip service. But last night, tears welled up because I knew that not only does Emmanuel want to build it. He, a man who does not wear a kippah, is actually doing the work required to get it done. We all were. That, you rarely see these days.

Feiglin got up and spoke. In the middle, he invited all those in the video to come up with him. Moshe Feiglin in the center, surrounded by representatives of every sector of Jewish Israel. Somewhere in his speech, he said this sentence:

"We, in this room right here, right now, are building the new leadership that will lead this country."

He brought together the Haredi guy and one of the secular guys from the video. "Do you see what's happening here?" he asked us. "Do you see what Manhigut Yehudit has accomplished?" he asked again. This is true Jewish unity.

But the funniest thing is, the media is stuck yapping about Sarah Netanyahu's legal problems with her housekeeper. They don't even notice what's happening. The depth of it is beyond them. When we take over and change the course of Jewish history forever, when the country has its first leader that believes in the G-d of Israel and speaks from the Temple Mount, and instead of waving Auschwitz in the face of the world, he explains, politely, that we are the chosen people and this is our G-d given Land, the world won't even know what hit it.

It's better this way. G-d's salvation may be like the blink of an eye, as they say, but I think that's only true for those whose eyes are in permanent blink mode. Those of us at the dinner, those of us who see what's happening, our eyes are open, we know exactly what's going on, and we all know that there is nothing that can stop us now. We are too big. We are too diverse. We are too Jewish. We are too proud. It is only a matter of time.

No longer will we wait around hunkering in a bunker for our "sector" to demographically take over the country, or for the Messiah to come and save us and tell us that we were right and the other side was wrong. The work that needs to get done - we're getting it done. We've taken responsibility for the winds of history by putting up our sails.

Finally worth mentioning, there was a raffle at the dinner. My wife, at my side the whole time, told me insistently how good she is at raffles. She wins every time, she tells me. Well, OK then. I know how much skill raffles require, so I can't really argue with that. We bought ten tickets. Sure enough, the first number called is hers. It's a necklace of the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple.

We're not so much into jewelry, don't really understand it, but what she said next hit me deeply. "I'm going to wear it on the Temple Mount at Moshe's victory speech."

I believe her.

Until next year's dinner - which, judging by the way things are going, may be by invitation only. I plan on being there, and earning it by signing up as many faithful to the Likud as I can. Want to be part of Jewish history? Sign up for the Likud right now.

The Manhigut Yehudit Annual Dinner Journal in New York is right around the corner:
Shushan Purim, March 1st at the New Yankee Stadium, Legends Suite Club, in the Bronx. Click here for details. We're sure you'll be inspired.

Click here for a short video (Hebrew) of the Israel dinner.

Click here for more pictures of the Israel dinner.

Click here for the text of Moshe Feiglin's speech at the Israel dinner.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Change? Go Ask Pharaoh

By Moshe Feiglin

And G-d said to Moses, 'Go in to Pharaoh because I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants so that I may show these, My signs, in his midst.' (From this week's Torah portion, Bo, Exodus 10:1)

Pharaoh's stubbornness doesn't make sense. "Do you not see that Egypt is doomed?" his servants desperately cry toward the end of this week's Torah portion. Why does the Egyptian tyrant continue with his intransigence when reality explodes in his face time after time? Why doesn't he change his ways when it is so obvious that his obstinacy is destroying Egypt?

Pharaoh's intransigence is not for personal reasons. All the foundations of Egyptian civilization, a civilization that endured longer than any other civilization in the ancient world - were now being put to the test.

The king of Egypt was worshipped as a god. But Moses was forcing him to obey the real G-d, the G-d of Israel.

A regime that is founded on a particular conception will not easily give it up.

Buses and restaurants may explode, missiles may screech into homes, guards may be needed at the entrance to every store, train stations may look like military checkpoints, there may be fences and walls surrounding towns and roads, concrete reinforcements on every roof, international arrest warrants for senior government ministers, furious delegitimization campaigns throughout the world and intense anti-Semitism. But all of these plagues cannot change the ways of a regime that has predicated its very existence on the conceptions that have given rise to the plagues, in the first place.

10 plagues, 50 plagues, 250 plagues - it depends how you count. But no plague can convince the regime to act in a way that contradicts the foundations of its existence. The surrender of the Oslo conception would cause the collapse of the entire house of cards upon which the Israeli regime is founded.

There is only one plague that finally convinces Pharaoh to give up the conception of slavery. Not the plagues that cripple the people, but rather, the plague that cripples the regime. Before the exodus from Egypt, not one slave had ever escaped from Egypt. It was the oldest and largest concentration camp in history. And who were the masters? Those who were born to be masters; the first born. The plague of the first born threatened the entire conception. That is why Pharaoh gave in and agreed to free the Israelites. The fact that the Egyptian children were dieing did not faze him. But the plague posed an insurmountable problem for the Egyptian regime.

Nothing has made the Israeli regime open its eyes. "Do you not see that Israel is doomed? That missiles will explode in Ashkelon? That the rifles that you give to the terrorists will be aimed at us? That the entire world scorns us? That we will lose the legitimacy for our existence as an independent state?" None of that has made an impression on the Israeli regime and none of that will. Only a threat to the stability of the regime itself will convince it to open its eyes.

Shabbat Shalom