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.
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.”