Moshe Feiglin: This War is about Identity

Moshe Feiglin attributes the war against Hamas to a great chasm of consciousness, beginning with an attempt to detach the People from its identity, and repairing this chasm will also provide the long-term answer to the predicament in which the People of Israel finds itself now.

RIBONET    20-11-2023


Former Deputy Speaker of Knesset, Chairman of the Zehut (Identity) movement, Moshe Feiglin, also took part in the Sovereignty Movement’s series of Zoom interviews on the events of the Swords of Iron War.

As he began his remarks, Feiglin was asked about the significance of victory in the war and he summarizes with the words “Flatten (Gaza) plus annexation equals victory” and from here he expounds, stating that any result that is less than this will not bring about victory, rather, it will invite the next round and the next disasters.

Does Israel have the strength to bring about such a result despite American and other international pressures? Feiglin is not impressed with this sort of pressure and mentions the War of Independence in 1948 when the Israeli army did not have any sort of significant weapons against five Arab armies and was under an American embargo, yet Israel won. In the Six Day War as well, the Israeli army did not have American jets, but French jets. Feiglin notes that Israel began to receive American aid after the victory of the Six Day War and as a result of this victory, and only because giving this aid was also in America’s interests.

During his remarks, he stated that American policy has not changed since the U.S. army refrained from bombing the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz. This, says Feiglin, he says out of admiration for the U.S., its Constitution and its values, but it is not love for Jews that motivates the U.S., but American interests.

“American pressure exists wherever it is permitted to enter”, says Feiglin comparing it to the great atmospheric pressure that is blocked by internal pressure, which means that the great pressure will actually work only when there is a vacuum to allow it. The same is true in the political sphere. We invite the pressure. The vacuum of values in “Israeliness” – running away from our Jewish identity, from normalcy, from being a “people dwelling alone” and the dependence on America – this is what invites the pressure. The problem is not America but only ourselves”.

In relating to the future of Gaza Arabs, Feiglin answers with a few words, “Expel them immediately and to Hell with them”, and he goes on, noting that for about twenty years he has been talking about how to do this. He notes that last year, more than two hundred thousand Gaza Arabs left Gaza and there are about a million and a half residents now and no more than that. According to him, with a lot less money than what Israel is spending in Gaza, it could have created a very beneficial mechanism to encourage emigration from the Strip and come to a situation where it would be almost empty.

“The problem is not the Gazans, but us, and Ron Pundak said this when he stated that Oslo was created to cause the “Israelization” of the country instead of Judaizing it. Peace is not the issue, but identity. We need Arabs to have Israeli ID cards to be Israelis and not Jews. This is what keeps them in Gaza. It was denying our own identity that brought about the slaughter in Be’eri” says Feiglin, who views the root of the evil in Israel’s attempt to be a state of all its citizens.

According to him, only a different sort of leadership, free from old concepts will be able to bring about a real change, and it began during the Begin period and surrendering Yamit and Sinai to Egypt and then on to Rabin and Peres, who brought Arafat here and handed Gaza and the cities of Judea and Samaria over to them and it was in this mindset that the leadership, including the military, developed from then on. “A situation has been created in which the People of Israel is suffocating under the boot of this leadership that is addicted to this mindset and we must replace it entirely and the sooner the better”, says Feiglin again, calling for an alternative to this leadership.

“We have to understand that Benjamin Netanyahu is not our leader, but our punishment, the punishment we deserve. Like battered women, we wanted a leadership that would continue to lie to us about peace so that we will be able to plan the next vacation”, says Feiglin, noting his candidacy for the state’s leadership as an alternative, driven by a totally different concept, which, in his opinion, is what the people need.

Feiglin has harsh criticism for what he defines as Netanyahu opening the gates of the Land to American control, through American military support. Thus, says Feiglin, the principle that only Israeli soldiers will defend the State of Israel is negated. “When a superpower comes, it is not in a hurry to leave, and it always acts according to it own interests. We saw the precedent for this in Kabul and Hanoi”, when the Americans decided that it was no longer in their interest”.

Moreover, says Feiglin, without terrible and fearful revenge in a language that the Gazans understand – and not just on Hamas but on all of the Gazans – the status of the Jew in the entire world will go back to being weak and unprotected, as it was before the holocaust. But there is good news concealed in this, which is the expectation of a mass aliyah of Jews in the near future. “The Almighty is ushering them here. Families that planned vacations have quickly returned here so that they would not be heard speaking Hebrew abroad”.

Feiglin also notes the empowerment of spirit and soul and the people’s clear self-sacrifice and devotion in the wake of the day of holocaust that fell upon the villages of the Gaza Envelope. “Who was it that rescued the People of Israel? The IDF? The Chief of Staff? Just as in the Yom Kippur War, it was the soldiers, the junior officers, the citizens, the civil defense officers and squads. We are a nation of lions that arise in their full glory under the leadership of asses”, says Feiglin, with an allegory to the old saying from the Second World War, directed both at the military and political leadership, “and especially Netanyahu. It is impossible to support the man anymore. If you have now brought us back to the old paradigms and opened the gates of the country to a foreign superpower, go home immediately, besides the fact that you freed the entire leadership of Hamas in exchange for a photograph with Gilad Shalit, which not even prime ministers from the Left had ever done. This is the leadership that brought this slaughter and holocaust. So who is responsible? We are responsible for bringing you to power.”

Feiglin’s message from the present war, which we must understand, is the People of Israel’s obligation to place in power leadership that acts in the name of the Almighty, whose goal is to bind the People with vision, its destiny and its G-d.

The war in Gaza, says Feiglin, should have begun with the elimination of 200-300 thousand Gazans, as was done in Dresden or Hiroshima, and there is no need for an atom bomb to do this, without humanitarian considerations, “Bomb their wells, their fuel depots, the electricity infrastructure, create a mad humanitarian situation, and after they are blown up in a storm of fire and the rest will have nothing to eat or drink and they crowd the fences at Rafah from the first day, then they will be a problem for the rest of the world in Sinai. But we have not done this so we will do it in phases, but in the end it will be so. The Gaza Strip will be the new Israeli Riviera. The western Negev’s coast will be free of Arabs, settled in an inviting way for the People of Israel to come in its masses.”

“But we are only at the beginning of the story”, says Feiglin, who explains that it may not all begin and end with Hamas and Hizb’Allah and it might actually even turn into World War Three. Then, our faith and belief that “the Almighty will not cast off His People, neither will He forsake His inheritance” (Psalm 94:14), will provide us with the confidence that we have turned a page in history, a new chapter in the history of our People and “I have no doubt that it is going to be a wonderful chapter.”

November 20, 2023 | 17 Comments »

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  1. I hate to say this but Feiglin is a failure as a politician.

    He used to be an excellent activist, then he entered politics and realized that if he doesn’t moderate his activities, he may end up in jail, and he backed off.

    Then he caved in once more by joining Likud “to change it from within” which Netanyahu pretty quickly and expertly prevented him from doing making Feiglin merely a figurehead.

    Even then, (many years ago) I believed in him and loved his ideas and even bought his book and followed his writings.

    I gave up on him when in one of his articles he actually stated that all the Russian olim are drunkards to which his own cousin responded (in the comments) “Moshe, what are you talking about, I work with these people all the time!” but Moshe would not give in – I understood that whatever and whoever he was, he was no statesman.

    He talks a good game and that’s it (ironically, the same as Netanyahu but minus “Bibi’s” political skill).

  2. Adam this relates to a mistake made.

    Immediately an inquiry conducted. The enemy was not only the Arabs but was within

    Mistake to forgive and cover up

    The inquiry had to BEGIN IMMEDIATELY

    No deal with Gantz and Barak etc

    An ongoing inquiry to discover all. Quote follows

    But the people in Israel with the necessary education and communications skills are nearly all leftists and om the Arab side of the conflict. At best, some of them take a balanced,” there is some right and wrong on both sides: approach.

  3. Remember that the attack of October 7 placed Jews in a role as being victims of a Pogrom..They were really overjoyed

    The best path for Israel was simply and clearly state the facts. Then begin at once unanswerable retribution by

    Cut off all gifts to Gaza

    Prepare only a fully defended road to the south

    Netanyahu launch immediately an inquiry

    Feiglin does not say that but he suggests it

    State firmly the area has to be made safe for Jews to live. That is the separation.

    Means all to leave

    It is logical

    The simple aim Jews to be safe

    Showing the anti humanity of Islam is part of that

  4. @Ted As is Biden. The right is angry with him for turning on Israel. The left is angry with him for not turning on Israel completely.

  5. Bibi is targeted by the Left and the Right but for different reasons..Gantz would not have done better becuase he is left of Bibi. Same for Bennett.
    The right says that Bibi isn’t tough enough.
    I don’t want anyone on the left to replace him.
    In the last poll Likud dropped in half. The centrist Likud voters shifted to Gantz.
    And I thought the country had gone right after Oct 7.

  6. Feiglin does an analysis of the present state of the leadership of Israel. This is marked by a leadership which is led at every point by being influenced by Imperialism. He does not replace this by any alternative. In fact he aims to create a civil war in Israel because Israelis are mostly secular by choice. They are secular as was the American Constitution. This does not imply abandonment of Jewish culture and entails freedom of religion

    Peloni who presents this video is careful not to present this reality

    Not one of the comments deal with this fully or adequately. To sum it up “no alternative presented by anyone = politically bankrupt”.

  7. It’s the night of the living dead! The Israeli government has agreed to free three hundred Hamas terrorists in exchange for the release of sixty hostages. Complete submission to that bastard Blinken.

  8. The dead end of Feiglin type religious Zionism

    Israel is totally divided because there is no ideology to unite behind…

    The days of Feiglin are over or they never existed. His brain is fogged up by religion and is not in any way a tool to save any human, animal or plant on this earth.

    We live in the new world of nation state and not NeoCon America and NeoCon Britain and Europe

    The Stalinism of China and Russia is hatred of socialism and they betray socialism. But still it appears they depend on their nation against NeoCons but long term will not prevail

    It is a lie that NeoCons have anything to do with Trotskyism.

    Trotsky respected the nation. The changing climate though has to be fought on an EARTH BASIS

    And climate on earth is the basis of all life and ability to live on earth

    Bourgeois Zionism represented also by Israpundit will lead to the very end of Judaism and all Jews.

    But all humans will be obliterated by climate changen

    To dispute the science of climate change one has to engage in self delusion based on ignorance but with narcissism close at hand

    Gaza should not be mentioned. The problem is Jihad.

    The people of Europe and of Africa are fighting the same danger. African poor especially farmers are butchered weekly by Jihad. (Feiglin has a narrow view of jihad and life on our earth)

    That and climate change the world has to address.

    Many on all present sites are narcissist enemies of science

    Grasp the nettle. The reality lies not in any religion but in science.

    The reality of October 7…those who did not face reality were guilty of not seeing reality and that is the biggest continual and perpetual (perpetuating) crime. It repeats on jihadwatch and Israpundit as mere samples of this issue. It is a prevailing quality of profit driven capitalism.

    Understand that Antisemitism is the Socialism of Fools

    Socialism must be what saves earth.

    Capitalism is destruction.

    But Antisemitism the Socialism of Fools is a cancer which eats into progression of human society and thought

    We see that cancer in action in the marches against Israel situation

    As in many videos which show this very thing today. These marches in London, New York and even Dublin are jihad matches

  9. Feiglin is right “in principle” that the Arabs should leave the land of Israel and be resettled elsewhere. He is also right, I think, that Israel’s military campaign against Gaza should not attempt to protect civilians at the expense of sparing the enemy army, allowing them to regroup and resupply, etcIt is not one hundred percent clear that the extremely harsh attacks on civilian-inhabited cities were strictly necessary to win World War II. But they were necessary to persuade the Gerans and Japanese not to carry out a war of agression ny time in the future. The terror bombing of civilian centers by the Allies transformed the Japanese and German people into pacifists. And by and large,they remain pacifists 78 yrars later.

    Persuading the Arabs of Israel to emigrate from the Land of Israel, and persuading foreign countries to take them in, would be more difficult than Feiglin believes. But the second part of this operation, persuading foreign countries to take them in, would be far more difficult than persuading them to leave. The Palestinians have a bad reputation abroad, although no government will say this publicly for fear of offending the Arab League and Organization of Muslim States. IN private. these states agree 100% that the Palestinians are bastards and the last thing they want is to admit them to their own countries. But they would still react angril if any country would be blunt about this in public. The longand short of it is that Israel will have a tough time organizaing the emigration of the Arabs from Eretz Israel, Very difficult, but perhaps not impossible.

    As for simply duping the Gazans into Sinai, that would provoke a very angry and punitive response from the “international community” against Israel. If Israel carries out a tough military policy inGaza, the Gazans might well be willing to flee to Sinai. But the Egyptians would do everything in their power to prevent this.

    When all is said and dne, the hostility of the international community to Israel ties Israel’s hands and makes it difficult for Israel solvethe “Arab problem.” A really well-funded and skillfully runHasbara campaign could change this situationeventually, I think. But the people in Israel with the necessary education and communications skills are nearly all leftists and om the Arab side of the conflict. At best, some of them take a balanced,” there is some right and wrong on both sides: approach.

    Feig;lin doesn’t deal with the extreme difficuly in changing the mindset of the Israeli people, and especially its elite classes, to his point of view.That is by far the greatest obstacle to his program.

  10. I support the “settlers” in Judea and Samaria, because they are holding the land. Some of the English language Israeli news shows, especially i24, disparage them constantly. Instead of sweeping this under the carpet, people should be honest. Not all religious Jews want to hold onto all the land, and many secular Jews do. I wonder how many of the so called settlers would support my right to live next door to them without being frum. This is the whole problem. Feiglin himself would talk to me honestly, but first I have to talk to him honestly.

  11. From the first time I met Moshe Feiglin in Toronto years ago, I fell in love with him. He loves being Jewish and so do I. He is religious, I am not but we still share our adoration of our Jewish faith, Torah, et al.
    I am an anomaly because I am as secular as they come (I do study Jewish scripture) but unlike most of my fellow non-religious/reform Jews, I love the Haredim. I love all religious Jews because they keep Judaism alive. I want Israel to be strong. I want it to instil fear in the eyes and ears of her enemies. But I don’t want it to be a strong country. I want it to be a strong Jewish country. Feiglin and myself are on the same page.
    I read all of the comments. Besides the self hating comment (he focuses on the religious Jews not serving in the army- this is not the time and place for this discussion sir), most of you like what he said. You might question how to achieve those goals. But his message resonated with you, right? Because like he said, it’s all about identity. The JEWISH identity! Without that identify at the forefront of any government or army, we will lose. To put it another way, Bibi is not Jewish enough. Lapid and the rest of his gang are self haters. If we left it up to them, the Jews would have had to run for their lives from Israel.
    I know it sounds callous but I said the same thing: Flatten Gaza and then annex it. Carpet bomb the shit out of it before sending in even one IDF soldier. Later Israel could build a fantastic tourist resort on those stunning beaches, shuls, world class markets and a flourishing Jewish community there. If there was a descent chance to rescue some hostages without losing any soldier’s lives, of course do it. But soon after finish off all the arabs in Gaza. Then do the same with Hezbollah and then finally hit Iran. G-d is on our side.

  12. When Feiglin says he expects millions of Jews to immigrate to Israel, I wonder about that. Israelis are used to their way of life and think everyone will prefer that, but, from what I know of Israeli life, only from the internet and books, it seems to me that it would be a step back in time. Only literal life and death issues would make Israel appeal to secular Jews who are used to an abundant consumer society with little government and religious interference, although that has changed recently.

    Feiglin correctly says Israel was saved recently by ordinary soldiers, not by the high ranking leaders, yet he slides over the fact that many of these ordinary soldiers are secular.

    I agree with Feiglin that the Dresden approach would have worked better, but I disagree that most Jews outside Israel will be in a hurry to leave the relative freedom and abundance of America and submit to a theocracy with too many rules. Officially, Israel is secular enough, but there is so much interference from rabbis in the everyday lives of secular people. People who barely work for a living tell taxpayers when they can shop and take the bus.

    No doubt, some observant Jews will say, so what, who needs people like you, you aren’t even kosher and don’t know anything. Actually, the state of Israel was built by people like me, and it is being defended by people like me, who happen to know Hebrew and religion, only because they were socialized that way, not because they believe in Judaism any more than I do.

    It’s important to be honest about these things, because failing to discuss these things will leave the Feiglin party with a foundation based on the lie that only religious Jews are real Jews and that American Jews can be scared into running backwards in time. We need pluralism. That’s what built Israel.

  13. I hope people who think like Feiglin are getting ready to open a new party, something with a name like Emunah v’Harta’ah (Faith and Deterrence). And they will spend the next few months tearing apart all the sick faux war morality perpetrated by Netanyahu and his cohorts, villifying all the leftist leaders who led us into this constant situation of rocket attack and now massacre, and speak about how they will be different and what they will do. That will push the gov’t and army heads to be more hawkish now but will also give real hope for the future. It seems now more than ever that people want a change and will not just fall in line behind the Ganz and Likud parties after their fiasco if they have a better alternative.

  14. A couple of points.
    Feiglin is correct to assert basically carpet bomb first but
    this can not be done because of a major difference between
    Dresden and Hiroshima ….they hold hostages.
    So, what the IDF is doing is the best they can with that limitation.

    EvRe1 writes about the US assimilated jews and their progressive views
    What to do to get them on board …if this Oct 7 horror is not enough,
    Feiglin has that answer ….no hope for some but others will “learn” and
    make aliya….strength in numbers.

    Lastly, although Israel can not carpet bomb Gaza …it can and should
    carpet bomb Lebanon / Syria and create the 30 km buffer agreed to
    but broken … can israel live with 150,000 missiles pointed at it’s
    population? Similar logic applies to Iran if necessary but with a warning
    as the majority of their population are truly innocent civilians.
    Difficult times.

  15. A new Israel ready to come back to Ein Breira spirit to withstand the ennemies and the bad faith of our powerful protectors , needs to be socially just , based upon balance , of rights and duties. Here we must stop the privileges of the orthodox , no more draft-dodging and no -more non involvement of the arab minority which must serve a 2 years social service . Housing must be offered to the discharged soldiers at a discount on property and municipal taxes. Land speculation must be stopped . Banks must be nationalized.

  16. This is an important article, so thank you for it.

    The principles are crucial. Israel cannot depend upon the US to have a favorable President. Israel must provide for its own military equipment and financing. The US economy has been battered and is in rough shape. The US is weighed down by a rogue military industrial complex, a Congress in thrall to their billionaire donors many of whom fund forever wars, thus the need to keep the Palestinian murderers in place, ready to start a war as soon as Iran and they are well funded enough by the US to do so. See how it works? These forces are no friends of the American people OR the Israeli people.

    For Israel to succeed, I agree total victory in Gaza is required. Hamas must be completely demolished, and all its infrastructure flattened.

    I agree too that all the Palestinians who want to kill Jews need to find another place to live.

    Feiglin doesn’t give details on how to accomplish this in the West Bank, where the overwhelming majority of the people idealize Hamas. There it is not possible to destroy the water, electricity, and all services required for civilization like it would be in Gaza, because it would affect Judea and Samaria where Jews live. Maybe he has ideas that would work there.

    About his views on Netanyahu I had conceived of Netanyahu as strong on national security certainly compared with Gantz, Lapid, and all the other leftists and socialists. But as for whether he has provided the answer to Israel’s security needs, it would appear that he has been checkmated between leftists in Israel, the Obama/Biden team in the US, and the US support for Iran and Iran’s assets, which Iran now calls “The Axis Powers.”

    I consider Israel’s leftists to be Palestinian and Iranian apologists, even if they campaigned sounding like members of the Likud, they couldn’t form a government without the Arab party that wants to abolish Israel. I consider Israel’s leftists apologists for Obama and Biden if not outright supporters of them, with zero understanding of the degree of betrayal of Israel they participated in. Then as soon as Hamas launched its butchery, they couldn’t wait to blame Netanyahu for the security or intelligence failure. This, after they gave thousands and thousands of Gazans work permits facilitating their murderous plans.

    Feiglin presents a different critique of Netanyahu as not good enough on national security in that he goes along with the US for military aid, thus continuing the dependence that ultimately weakens Israel.

    In addition he adumbrates the need for a change in Jewish identity world wide. I agree. From the perspective of the US, I am not sure how this would be accomplished. In Israel, the majority of Jews are secular but are firmly identified as Jewish, and everyday life is organized around Jewish Time: the holidays and every shabbat. In the US this is only true for the Orthodox, although there are many in the Conservative movement who are shomer Shabbat and kashrut. But life in the US for a majority of Jews is organized around secular time and secular holidays. Jews have assimilated into the population, mostly into the progressive population, unfortunately. There is more intermarriage. Attendance at Religious worship has decreased for Jews whereas this is not true of Evangelical Christians.

    I recently read a letter that circulated through a Conservative temple about the horrifying events of October 7th. While the author was completely horrified and was expressing feelings of concern for Israel and for the Jewish community writ large, he still clearly identified a New York Times writer, Bret Stephens, as “conservative.” The implication was a negative one. Conservatives who are Jewish view Bret Stephens as not very conservative at all! But the point is, even at this terrible time for the Jewish community, there is still this divisiveness in the Jewish community in which the worth other Jews depends upon how progressive they are or are not.

    This is the challenge for Feiglin. How do we go about improving Jewish identity and building the Jewish community in America, or in Australia, or in England?

    I think Jews who are progressive have all but lost their voices let alone their Jewish identity because I don’t know that any of them stand up to the Hamas supporting democrats in their midst the way they easily look down upon “conservatives.”

    Israelis MUST STAND UP TO THOSE WHO WANT TO KILL THEM. American progressive Jews are insulated, protected, and they want to remain in the protected class of people known as the “elites,” even though doing so means jettisoning their Jewish identity whenever necessary.

    I think Netanyahu’s record has been one of dealing with what he saw as the reality of his situation: Israel was dependent upon the US for military aid should Israel be attacked, so to challenge that, he would have had to have an alternative plan available. He challenged the Obama Iran deal and took it to the US Congress to stand up to Obama. But I don’t think he was or is ready to ditch the relationship between the US and Israel, unless he has to.

    Feiglin is more visionary and envisions not only that it can be done (as it has been done in the past) but how it can be done.

    I hope Israelis agree with him. Israel will be so much stronger when it need depend upon no one but Israelis.