Moshe Feiglin on Medinat Yehudah (by sk)

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Moshe Feiglin criticized the idea of creating Medinat Yehudah on Yishai Fleisher’s 11 January Arutz Sheva radio show.  Unlike most other commentators or politicians, Feiglin is both an astute political analyst and reasonably candid.  Are Feiglin’s objections to Medinat Yehudah plausible?  The link to the show I am discussing is here.  It is worthwhile to review this show before reading further.

I thought Feiglin’s commentary was a mess.  Most basically, he wished away the reality of there being two peoples in Eretz Israel:  the Israelis and the Jews.  What could be more obvious than this?  He likens the situation to a captain and crew of a ship who have decided to direct the ship where they want, irrespective of what the passengers signed up for and want.  The Jews should therefore take back their state and not create a new one, as the problem is not with the state, which is fundamentally sound.

What Feiglin conveniently forgets is that Medinat Israel was created and fought for early on mainly by Bolsheviks who sought a new Israeli identity, not a Jewish identity in a Torah-compliant state.  Does he believe that today’s Bolsheviks have forgotten this?  Feiglin also seems to pretend that the “Israelis” exist only at the top.  If this were the case—if there were few Israelis compared with Jews—how could one explain Kadima’s plurality in the last election?  Simply because most self-identified Israelis do not like their politicians or their political system and do not want to be dhimmis subject to Muslim violence it does not follow that these Israelis want to live under Torah.

When Feiglin suggests taking power from the current Israeli crew, he really means taking power from the Israelis and giving it to the Jews.  His approach is thus zero sum.  The Medinat Yehudah movement, by contrast, seeks to take land that the Israelis do not want and give it to Jews rather than to Muslims.  Medinat Yehudah is thus not inherently zero sum.  This approach also neutralizes the real demographic concern that the elites now have:  the Jewish birthrate swamping the Israeli birthrate.  If Jews live in Medinat Yehudah, however, their birthrate is no longer a threat to the Israelis of Medinat Israel.

Feiglin also claimed that Medinat Yehudah was immoral because it would abandon 95% of Jews (i.e., those who do not live in Yesha).  Nonsense!  Consider how incoherent the argument is.  For Feiglin’s takeover of Medinat Israel to be feasible, there would need to be few Israelis relative to Jews.  But then, to condemn Yehudah, he arbitrarily asserts that an actual Jewish state (Yehudah) would not contain the same Jews he is appealing to now.  If indeed nearly all Halachically Jewish citizens of Israel want “Jewish Leadership,” then Medinat Yehudah would ultimately contain nearly all such citizens, not just Yesha settlers.  Feiglin thus creates an “immoral” Judean straw man—a settler-only state—and criticizes it.  And if indeed only 5% would be interested in Yehudah, then who exactly is being led by “Jewish Leadership” in Medinat Israel?

Feiglin threw an interesting curve when he said that Medinat Yehudah was being talked about by the Left, that some of the Left liked the idea because it would allow Israel to avoid paying to expel so many Jews from Yesha.  Feiglin asserted that the regime might use the Arabs to do the dirty work, forcing Jews to expel themselves, as they are not armed to protect themselves, thus saving the regime a prohibitive expense.  He warned us not to fall into this leftist trap.

Never fear, though, Feiglin has a solution!  He recommends that the settlerfolk say that they want to stay, and that they do not insist that the state protect them.  However, as the state will not protect them, the arms purchased from settler taxes should be returned to the settlers.  He explains that Israel, like all sovereign states, must at minimum provide security for its citizens.  Israel cannot be a sovereign state when it comes to collecting taxes but not when it comes to fulfilling the obligation of a sovereign state regarding security.  He suggests that this approach can immediately halt the Israeli attempt to expel the Jews of Yesha.  Implicitly, this position would also argue that there is no obligation to pay taxes to a state that does not execute its side of the contract.  Implicitly as well,  the IDF troops in Yesha would be remaining to use these weapons.

But could Feiglin really believe that the Israeli regime takes arguments based on the principles of sovereignty seriously?  If Bibi and company intend to abandon Jews to Arab mercy, and thus either to death or to self-defensive flight from Yesha, Feiglin does not explain how the settlers will persuade a single Israeli elite to cough up the arms that settler funds paid for.  Why should such elites fear when all they confront are intellectual arguments?  Why exactly does Feiglin or anyone else believe that the Israelis would become moral and act lawfully when they have not done so before?  Why would they forgo tax revenue and a loyal contingent of Yesha IDF soldiers when they do not have to?  Could Feiglin possibly be serious?

Indeed, the Israeli elites have much to fear if Feiglin’s approach succeeded, if Jews really did manage to seize power from the Israelis.  As we have seen, Feiglin’s approach is inherently more threatening to the Israeli elites than the Medinat Yehudah approach advocated here.  You can bet, then, that the last thing the elites would do is allow Feiglin’s fantasy to become a reality.  The most likely interpretation is that the only reason Feiglin is allowed to defend his Jewish Leadership idea is because the elites are confident it will go nowhere—and they will make sure of it.  For now it provides a nice way of diverting attention from an approach that could possibly be effective.

I know some will think that Feiglin is simply floating such points about taxes and arms to get them out into the open, to build a body of philosophical justification for a break, all the while saying that he is advocating no such break.  Others might think that he has some other secret plan up his sleeve.  But this blog is not about fantasies or unsubstantiated theories.  In the real world, Israeli leaders have repeatedly misled their followers, intentionally or not, creating or allowing their followers to create elaborate scenarios “explaining” why these leaders really were not endangering Jewish life.  I see no reason to build yet another fantastic scenario in which Feiglin is being clever.  If we review his approach with the tools developed in this blog, we see that he is doing nothing that will be effective.  He does not disrupt the political system powerfully enough to make change possible; rather, he engages in long-term “planning” (e.g., Jewish birthrate) that can easily be countered by the regime.  He does not control the scope of the conflict by, for example, breaking off the perfidious “rabbis” from the ruling coalition.  He has no ad hoc organizations that are capable of developing, let alone implementing, serious propaganda.

If, however, we return to some of Feiglin’s specifics, we can indeed gain something. While arguments that arms bought from settler taxes should be returned to the settlers will go nowhere, why not advocate that Jews of Yesha stop paying taxes?  Why should the settlers serve in the IDF rather than in a Yesha-based independent military?  If the regime cannot afford expelling the Jews of Yesha, it certainly cannot afford trying and imprisoning all of them either.  But Feiglin will not risk making such obvious points, possibly because he is afraid to do so, possibly because he really believes in seizing the whole loaf (all of Eretz Israel) for himself and his followers.

In fairness, I have omitted one weapon of Feiglin’s that might make all others unnecessary:

J  E  W  I  S  H      L  E  A  D  E  R  S  H  I  P

This formidable slogan, with its magical properties, will perhaps free us of  the need for time-tested doctrine and tactics.

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13 Responses to “Moshe Feiglin on Medinat Yehudah (by sk)”

  1. Malka Says:

    I am not terriby familiar with Medinat Yehudah (and only recently discovered the difference between Medinat Yehudah and Medinat Israel by looking at a map on a very old bible). But as I have been reading the past few days, a thought comes to mind–would Yesha as Medinat Yehudah secede from the union so to speak? And if so, would that be prime objective–to have two separate states–or a short term goal ultimately leading to one state–Medinat Yehudah?

    I’m just curious as to whether Feiglin is really sincere about a MYP, or just brokering a quasi-Commonwealth status for Medinat Yehudah, in which it would be sort/kinda independent but not genuinely independent, or a sovereign status such as the various Indian Tribes in the US are–they don’t have their own military, and at least in NYS the state is threatening to tax them, all the while acknowledging their independence and sorveignty.

    Also, I wonder if the majority of religious Zionist Jews are really prepared to fight for a true Jewish state. They seem petrified of the government. Just as an example, TamarY on A7, just as I thought, cited a fear of Shabak infiltrating the talkback sections. Can’t help but wonder if they’re ready for liberation just yet. Read the Committee to Protect Journalists website. It’s an international organization. Journalists and editors in every part of the world face oppression and they…FIGHT IT.

    Sadly and alarmingly, I don’t see that at A7, the pro-Israeli media outlet:( Hopefully, she was just joking. But if not, if you can’t fight for freedom of speech what can you fight for?

    Fascinating article here. You and Mike are doing a terrific job.

  2. Ariel Ben Yochanan Says:

    B”H – Feiglin is just doing what he does best: draining precious Jew-power away from the Jews and funneling it right back where it does not belong. To the heart of Israeli power-politics.

  3. Vienna Mike Says:

    Sadly, Feiglin and Sackett are fit mis-leaders given the infantilism of the Jewish community in the Holy Land.

    We venerate heroes who sacrificed their lives in magnificent but ultimately futile grand gestures, but we do not correct their mistakes by acting in a rational manner to ensure that the things that drove the likes of Dr. Baruch Goldstein (z”l, h”y”d) and Yigal Amir to self-sacrificial acts of heroism disappear from the face of the Earth. Those who worship the shandeh called “Medinat Israel” as “the first flower of redemption” refuse to wake up no matter how many times they are beaten with clubs, their homes are demolished, their schuls desecrated and their daughters sexually assaulted by Israeli kapos. Like the dog who bites the stick instead of the man wielding the stick, they blame the Arabs for every act of Islamic terrorism instead of blaming the Israelis who permit and facilitate the Islamic terrorism by permitting Islam to exist in the Holy Land in the first place. They serve in the very IDF that attacks them daily, preferring to pretend that IDF kapos provide security for the pathetic suburbs jokingly termed “settlements” rather than take upon themselves to provide real security on their own. They prefer to play stupid mind games and cling to fantasies, sucking down Israeli utilities and Israeli subsidies instead of choosing to stand on their own two feet and build real, self-sufficient settlements. Then, having made an immediate declaration of independence impossible, these people have the gall to claim that to split from the Israelis is suicide because their communities are unviable without the State of Israel.

    In the meantime, those few who nurture the dream of Medinat Yehudah refuse to do anything concrete to actualize this dream. In his pathetic interview, Feiglin says one sensible thing. This is a divorce. We are entitled to our fair share.

    The dati leumi form 66% of the combat arms manpower of the IDF. Two thirds of halachically Jewish persons in the Holy Land, the real Jews, voted for parties of the so-called right or did not vote at all. One third, the Israelis, voted for Kadima and other parties of the so-called left. So let us be clear. Medinat Yehudah will not be a state of the so-called settlers, nor will it be confined to the tiny territory of Yosh alone. The so-called settlers must be the revolutionary vanguard of Medinat Yehudah and Yosh must be Judah’s birthplace. But the vanguard is just that — a vanguard. Let us lay claim to that which is ours — at minimum two thirds of the assets and two thirds of the territory of the present-day State of Israel. And the only reason we are willing to settle for so little is not because the claims of the Israelis have any right or legitimacy, but because we find it a distasteful prospect to round up and execute the 2 million Israelis who stand in our way, nor do we wish to rule by force over an alien people.

    And let us be clear about one more thing. We are not Artsakh, a remote mountainous region of limited importance at the outskirts of the Islamic World. We are Medinat Yehudah, a nation in the very heart of the territory Islam claims as its own. Our independence will threaten the legitimacy and ultimately the very existence of Islam. The Moslems know this. They will do everything in their power to prevent this.

    In our war of independence, the Moslem enemy will field something on the order of 1.5 million men, at least ten thousand tanks, something on the order of thirty or forty thousand light armored vehicles and upwards of five thousand combat aircraft. Among this gear will be thousands of M1A2SEP tanks and Bradley-equivalent infantry fighting vehicles brought to the fight by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There will be hundreds of excellent F-16 and F-15, not to mention perfectly good MIG-29 fighter-bombers. Nor will our enemy consist solely of hordes of incompetent fanatics. It is true that the Syrians, the so-called Palestinians and the various jihadist volunteers from all over the Moslem world will be dubiously trained at best. But the highly competent Jordanian and Egyptian armies will commit hundreds of thousands of well-trained soldiers and Hezbollah will certainly commit virtually its entire force of crack light infantry, the same troops who fought the IDF to a standstill in the Second Lebanon War.

    To expect that this massive array of forces can be defeated simply by davening them away is not merely laughable, it is criminal and heretical. We must stop acting like children wishing for daddy to make it all go away and adopt a realistic, adult approach to the problem. We must prepare. We must take concrete, practical steps to create free zones ruled by practical, sensible, realistic Jewish law, zones where the IDF dares not enter. We must use these zones to train forces, build infrastructure and ultimately create the conditions for an orderly partition of the territories and assets currently held by the State of Israel. We must ensure that the war of independence is fought in phases, that our enemies are divided and mistrustful of one another, that their forces piecemeal into us rather than attacking us all at once. If this means that, for example, we let the Israelis temporarily keep the Negev so that the Egyptians cannot attack us at the same time as the Syrians, so be it. If it means that we must tolerate an Israeli presence in the Jordan valley even as we build a de-facto state in the heart of Yosh and fight full scale pitched battles for control of Hebron, Schem and Ramallah, so be it. If this means we have to make some kind of covert handshake agreement to keep Jordanian involvement to a minimum, so be it. If this means we have to take funds and volunteers from the Christian world regardless of the strings that come attached to this aid, so be it.

    It is not enough to daven to Hashem for a miracle. He will not act on our behalf unless we show Him that we are serious by taking realistic, practical actions. We must ensure that we have the forces, the funds and the materiel to prevail with His help, but without depending on miracles. This will not be an overnight process. Unless the Mashiach comes, no one can wave a magic wand and make Medinat Yehudah a reality tomorrow. And if we do not work towards it step by step, Medinat Yehudah will never happen.

    Feiglin’s naysayer approach to Medinat Yehudah depends on continued infantilism on the part of the Jews of the Holy Land. He depends on a community whose idea of building Medinat Yehudah is to sit on some hilltop in Yosh in a bunch of paper caravans, wave an orange ribbon and proclaim independence with two rifles, a pistol and a chumash for defense. It is time to grow up, face the problems squarely and solve them practically. And if we do not do so, the Jews of the Holy Land will all die.

  4. General Raoul Salan Says:

    “And if we do not do so, the Jews of the Holy Land will all die.”

    Or they can move elsewhere. I know it’s Nazi-like of me to suggest that Jews live among Gentiles!

  5. sk Says:

    Great to see you back, Mike. You are much more gripping than I.

  6. Sassover Says:

    Interesting piece of news:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1150764.html

    The settler youth thought the “army exercise” was actually an attempt to evict the settlement, and they did something about it. Now if they organized a real resistance to prepare in a coordinated way for the real showdown, things would be looking up.

  7. Vienna Mike Says:

    Sassover, the exercise probably WAS an attempt to attack the settlement, disguised as an exercise. Or it might have been a reconnaissance disguised as an exercise. One rarely goes wrong by assuming that an IDF kapo is an evil, duplicitous cad. The higher the rank, the more evil and duplicity there is. Either way, the good news here is that the youth are beginning to realize that IDF kapos do not belong anywhere near Jewish communities in Yosh under any pretext.

    “General”, how about you leave the United States and let the Mexicans have it? What, you don’t want to because it’s your land? Well, gee…

    Besides the fact that the Torah commands us to possess the Land and the fact that it’s our country, the Torah also commands us to separate from the goyim. And, to add a couple of practical aspects (1) no one would take us now any more than they would in the days of the Evian Conference and (2) given the wondrous track record of trouble-free living among the goyim, culminating in the Holocaust, forgive me if we take a chance on having a country of our own.

  8. Sassover Says:

    As the Likud Central Committee “Vote” for an alteration of the Likud Constitution shows, it is time to claim our 66% and move on. How long will people cling to vain hopes and illusions? The system is broken and cannot be fixed. There is no other conclusion to be drawn from last week’s mockery of the political process.

  9. Malka Says:

    Mike, the more I read the more I am convinced that the settlers are in grave danger not only from Hamas but from their own government. It seems the younger settlers are getting wise to this as well. Do you see them eventually outright refusing to serve in the IDF on political/religious grounds?

    Most countries have laws permitting one to refuse military service for religious purposes. Do you see that happening in EY? Passing laws to that effect, that is?

    And totally OT but since A7 of late is censorsing even my relatively harmelss comments on different blogs, I feel this is the only open place to express myself re Israel. A7 is, in my opinion, under tremendous government pressure and instead of fighting it tooth and nail they’ve given in. Why when there are so many international journalist protection groups?

    Another possibility–they’re new tours of EY, marketed to Jews and gentiles. Have you noticed the many intros to Tovia Singer’s shows? “Holy Jews and Gentiles?” Seems like pandering. For what purpose, I don’t know.

    How much financial support are they really getting from so called Christian Zionists? Why so desperate for gentile support–moral or otherwise?

    I get frustrated with A7 at times, and have sent a comment saying that it was my last comment on a particular thread and for a while (wasn’t posted so far). They blast us in the US for being in exile–actually a very very nasty us versus them mentality going on, and yet they promote aliyah knowing it can result in the murders of Jews due to government unwilling to tackle terrorism head on and pander for US approval.

    TY for letting me post here–freely:)

    If sk is reading here, thank you for hank you for leaving your email address for me and a coule of others. I tried to say thank you on A7 but even courtesy is banned on A7:( Sadly.

  10. Vienna Mike Says:

    Malka, I expect the youth to take up arms and expel the Israelis from Medinat Yehudah. This site is written specifically for young activists who must take control of the movement and direct it into the channel of doctrinally correct armed struggle against the Israeli occupier.

    As for A7, please consider how much “international media defense organizations” helped Anna Politkovskaya. The reporters and editors of A7 are confronted by the secret police apparatus of a murderous totalitarian police state not very different from the Soviet Union under Brezhnev. If they make too many annoying moves, they will not simply get shut down. They will be murdered.

  11. Vienna Mike Says:

    Indeed, Sassover, you are correct. However, people are funny creatures. They are capable of deluding themselves indefinitely, even unto death, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Right now, Feiglin and Ketzaleh should be calling a joint press conference announcing that Manhigut Yehudit will join National Union in a single block to demand an independent Jewish State. Instead, Feiglin will keep whining about taking over the Likud and Katz will keep shouting uselessly in the Israeli Knesset.

    However, all is not lost. As events in Yitzhar show, our youth are waking and they will, sooner or later, push the weak, delusional old men out of the way. What the youth needed is a coherent ideology and a banner to march under. As far as I am concerned, the only banner worth marching under is the banner of Medinat Yehudah and the only ideology worth fighting for is one that proclaims the imperative of building a holy Torah State with Hashem as King, by any means necessary.

  12. Malka Says:

    Anna Politkovskaya…ah, two words that speak volumes. Thank you for spelling it out for me. Yes, I was very familiar with her case and murder. I had no idea A7 was also under such threats from the Israeli government, though I have sensed the past few months a certain terror and overly cautious approach to what they write and allow in the comment sections.

    My prayers are with the youth fighting against this. I wish I could donate something to help them.

    Is it me, or does all this loyalty to the state of Israel border on…1984/Soviet Union type fear-induced loyalty? Big Brother is watching so you all better be good Israelis. No doubt some feel it’s genuine Zionism, but there is something else going on, too. Fear induced.

  13. Vienna Mike Says:

    Malka, here is a list of worthwhile Yosh organizations to donate to. I call your attention especially to the Central Fund of Israel and to the Yosh Hatzola.

    http://www.kcholmim.com/zedaka.php

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