Manhigut Stands By Call To "Disobey" (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 01/31/05)
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Manhigut Yehudit, the ‘Jewish Leadership’ faction within the Likud,
is defending its call for civil disobedience and refusal of orders,
saying it will not be intimidated by politicians´ threats.
Manhigut Yehudit published a booklet entitled "The Duty to Disobey"
that has been distributed widely in recent weeks. The booklet calls
for non-violent civil disobedience as the most effective method for
preventing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon´s disengagement plan that
calls for the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes in the
Gaza and northern Samaria.
"I am unfazed by the Likud´s efforts to expel me from the party and
to prevent me from running in the next race for Israel´s parliament,"
said Moshe Feiglin, the leader of Manhigut Yehudit. "Before we
published the pamphlet, we knew that the party apparatchiks would try
to use the booklet to expel us from the Likud. We did not enter
politics in order to follow to the caprice of one politician or
another. We came in order to lead the country on a different path,
one rooted in authentic Jewish values. While other politicians can -
and do - remain silent for tactical reasons, even when the soul of
the nation is at stake, we simply cannot. If we were to do so, there
would be no point in our entering the political area."
Senior Likud MK and Deputy Defense Minister Ze´ev Boim
charged, "Feiglin is a foreign element and a Trojan Horse in the
Likud. His ideology is extreme and dangerous. I hope Likud members
who love the country and the land of Israel will find the right ways
to throw the dangerous affliction of Feiglin and his entourage out of
Feiglin responded to the threat by fellow Likud members to have him
and his colleagues thrown out of the party, saying such actions would
be futile. "The attempt to get rid of the Manhigut Yehudit faction in
the Likud by expelling its leaders is ridiculous. It is based on the
fundamental assumption of small-time politicians that the motivating
force behind Manhigut Yehudit is the same as theirs: personal gain.
They are incapable of understanding that we are motivated by a common
ideology. Even if they expel me from the party, there is a long list
of belief-based candidates who will take my place."
The 30-page booklet contains a series of articles by Feiglin, Moti
Karpel, Michael Fuah and Ronen Zafrir. The booklet calls for soldiers
to refuse orders to uproot Jews from their homes, citing Torah
sources, contemporary Rabbis and even early Zionist leader Ze´ev
Jabotinsky, whose ideology forms the basis of the Likud party.
In one article, Feiglin writes: "Some say that civil obedience is a
crime but the truth is the opposite, as evidenced by the American
celebration of Martin Luther King Day. Refusal does not destroy. It
builds. Military refusal and civil disobedience in response to the
expulsion of Jews will not lead to the destruction of the army. It
will build it up as a moral army and will strengthen the basis for
Feiglin argues that the country is being subjected to a tyrannical,
undemocratic process which is leading the nation to a terrible
disaster. "We are talking about an increase of the damages caused by
the Oslo process, an indescribable crime against entire communities
that will tear the nation to shreds and undermine the very basis for
the existence of the state....Conscientious soldiers who hold G-d in
their hearts and will refuse to take part in any act of evacuation or
assist it, will save thousands of Israelis from the death march which
started in Oslo and is now gaining speed."
Fuah, the Managing Director of Manhigut Yehudit writes that the
difficulty in the battle against the "Disengagement Plan" is the
knowledge that "There is a left-wing public that is interested in a
civil war. This public does not see Gush Katif settlers as their
brethren, but rather [as] an enemy... the extreme left is preparing
its provocation, in which it will blame the right wing for firing the
first shot." Fuah adds that, "A civil war will not take place if
brothers will not fight one another, if fraternity will overcome
Zafrir, veteran of the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, compares the
Disengagement Bill to the Nuremberg Laws. "Sharon´s regime is no
longer legitimate. Only mass disobedience of hundreds of thousands
will return the state to a track of a parliamentary democracy and a
sane regime. As during the peaceful revolutions of Eastern Europe,
the moment soldiers refused to shoot at demonstrators, and when
protesters put flowers in the barrels of troops´ guns, the
dictatorships understood they had to go."
About 70,000 copies of "The Duty to Disobey" have been printed and
distributed to synagogues nationwide where they have been eagerly
received. Additional copies are being printed and will be distributed
by Young Manhigut Yehudit, the organization´s youth movement at road
junctions, bus stops, and public spaces.
The founders of Manhigut Yehudit are no strangers to civil
disobedience. Moshe Feiglin, together with Shmuel Sacket and National
Union MK Rabbi Benny Elon founded Zo Artzeinu, the protest movement
that opposed the Oslo Accords with massive civil disobedience in
1994. Feiglin and his fellow protest-leaders were charged with the
archaic crime of “sedition” for their part in bringing traffic across
Israel to a halt and were convicted.
Israel’s Supreme Court prevented Feiglin from receiving a Knesset
seat in the last elections due to his conviction but Election
committee Judge Yaakov Tirkel, a High Court judge whose tenure will
come to an end this year, ruled recently that Feiglin´s conviction
for sedition eight years ago does not prohibit him from running in
the next elections. (IsraelNationalNews © 01/31/05)
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