Moshe Feiglin: The Hay, The Straw, And The Redemption (JEWISH PRESS) By: Moshe Feiglin 02/22/12)
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“Today Feiglin is the mainstream in the Likud” said the influential
Nadav Peri on Israel’s Channel 10. “If the Likud members in Judea and
Samaria had all voted Feiglin, he would have gotten 40 percent of the
vote, and not 25 percent.”
My feelings were mixed. Objectively, 25 percent of the vote was an
extraordinary achievement that promises even greater achievements in
the future. I ran against a strong and popular incumbent who sprung
the elections by surprise. The party machine was aggressively at his
service. When – despite all this – one in every four (without taking
all the stolen votes into account) Likud members votes Feiglin, it
means that their hearts have been opened and the path to faith-based
leadership is paved. It means that we can continue to progress until
we will have the merit to finally lead the national camp and the
But these elections have left a bad taste in my mouth. Twenty-five
percent of the vote is not enough to undermine the absolute hegemony
that Prime Minister Netanyahu enjoys in the party. Despite our
achievement and great progress, there are still no MKs or ministers
who, after the election, draw their political power, and more
importantly their legitimacy, from a different pole in the movement.
The political power of the loyal ministers and MKs has mainly
remained tactical and limited. They can oppose Netanyahu until the
moment that he will have them removed. Even though I received 25
percent of the vote, they are still in Netanyahu’s pocket. They can
irritate him, but not much more than that.
How can we explain why lovers of Israel in Judea and Samaria
campaigned against me? Not only did the national headquarters not
endorse me, but they also went to great lengths and spent a lot of
money to campaign against me while I was struggling against the prime
At every historic juncture, when the Jews must enter a new level of
consciousness – a situation of redemption – the majority will prefer
to cling to the old order and will be lost. They will prefer to beg
Pharaoh for just a bit more straw than to ask for redemption. Only 20
percent of the Jews in Egypt were redeemed. The rest were lost. Those
Jews who left Egypt preferred to remain in the desert and not
experience the revolutionary consciousness necessary to enter the
Land of Israel. Only two giants of that generation were endowed with
a different spirit. And the rest of the generation died in the desert.
When in the 1920s the British opened the gates of the Land of Israel
and anticipated a huge wave of aliyah, the nation remained in the
Diaspora, waiting for its horrifying annihilation. When we could have
liberated Jerusalem in 1948, the government abstained. When the
Temple Mount fell into our hands in 1967, we returned it to the Waqf.
That is just the way we are: genuine “redemption refusers.” We recite
the requests for the Temple day and night, and mouth our longing to
rebuild it. But we don’t really mean it at all.
The faith-based public seems to be emotionally incapable of
establishing an alternative to lead the country. Our refusal to
shoulder the responsibility to transfer Israel from existential
Zionism to destiny Zionism turns the religious Zionist public into
sectoral extra baggage. It is not a coincidence that the settlers
often find that they do not have the rights taken for granted by
every citizen in Israel. Just as Israel loses its legitimacy in the
world when it refuses to connect with its destiny, so the settlers
who negate their destiny lose their legitimacy in Israeli society.
To my fellow Israelis, I say this: The door is open. Just start
marching toward leadership, toward liberty, toward destiny. It is not
easy, but it is doable. That is what we proved in these elections.
The nation is waiting. It is yearning for a life of national meaning
and anticipates your leadership. But many are afraid of victory, for
if we win, Netanyahu and his ministers will leave us. You are afraid
that someone who announces that he intends to give the land to our
enemies will leave you.
You really have nothing to lose, as the results of this game are
already clear. Every kindergarten or building that you will get will
ultimately be lost – like in Yamit and Neveh Dekalim. They also had
devoted community organizers who brought in money and building
Here’s your choice: lead or be lost.
The choice is in your hands. (© 2012 JewishPress. 02/23/12)
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