Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Temple?

By Moshe Feiglin

I have a hard time with the Kinot (Tisha B'Av lamentations). In my opinion, the Kinot have become nothing more than lip service. We are actually in love with destruction. We have exchanged the essence of the Temple Mount for the Western Wall, the candy for the wrapper and the purpose of the lamentations for the lamentations, themselves. The longing for the Temple that kept us whole as a nation during 2000 years of exile and returned us to our land and our state, has somehow morphed into a horror show in the minds of too many Jews - both secular and religious.

The secular have been brainwashed to believe that the Temple - the source of world peace and stability - will create a world war. The religious think - rightfully - that the Temple will destroy their religion. In other words, the Temple will extricate Judaism from its narrow, religious, detached-from-reality framework and restore it to its original, all-encompassing stature. Judaism will then be part of every facet of life, from the most mundane and personal to the most sublime and universal. The religious are not enthusiastic about that. The Zionist Jews have become used to the separation between holy and mundane (the complete opposite of their declared ideology) and the ultra-Orthodox have become used to being detached from the mundane. Everybody is quite comfortable in their own shallow and murky ponds.

The Temple threatens everybody's world. It sanctifies everything. And due to the fears of the observant Jews, it still lies in destruction. Only because of the fears of the observant Jews.

This week, we ascended the Temple Mount and met some of the paratroopers who had liberated Jerusalem in the Six Day War. "It looks like you will have to re-capture the Temple Mount," I said to one of them. "We're ready and waiting for orders," the aging veteran answered with a smile.

With G-d's help, we will soon have authentic Jewish leadership that will issue those orders.

Been There, Done That

By Moshe Feiglin

All the well-oiled systems, the chartered buses, the settlement secretariat, the familiar demonstration machine were perfectly orchestrated for Monday's protest against "American pressure." "We must strengthen Netanyahu," they explained in the settlement synagogues. The small turnout shows that the public understands that any protest led by the same people who had them pointlessly marching around the fence of Kfar Maimon will ultimately achieve the same results.

At the same time, pioneering youth built 11 new outposts in the Land of Israel. Anonymous sources in the Yesha Council denounced the youth, claiming that their actions are detrimental to the building of the land. I don't understand how settling the land is detrimental to the building of the land, but it is quite clear that it is detrimental to the stability of the old Yesha leadership.

After Monday's demonstration, Ynet reported that "Yesha Council Director, Pinchas Wallerstein, said that the American pressure on Israel this week reached heights that are an embarrassment to a democratic society." Wallerstein's concern for democracy is touching. But wasn't it Danny Dayan who was elected to head the New Yesha Council? The council that cleansed itself of the betrayal and cooperation with the destruction of Gush Katif? How has Wallerstein turned up once again? What democratic procedure re-installed the star of the Gush Katif fiasco to front stage?

Yes, there is truly nothing new under the sun. This is not the first time that a pioneering public wishes to build and counter the grand collapse of its leaders. And it is not the first time that those established leaders make grandiose declarations, stage huge demonstrations with unclear goals and all the while, stab the pioneers in the back.

Winter, 5754 (1993) - 16 years ago. After countless attempts to convince the Yesha Council to build outposts throughout Yesha, Zo Artzeinu proceeded with the plan, called Mivtza Machpil, by itself. Settlement groups were prepared and the general public was enthusiastic; ready and willing to carry out the plan that could very well have prevented the signing of the Oslo Accords and all the horrific events that have transpired since. And who denounced the pioneers and took action to prevent Mivtza Machpil from being implemented?

You guessed it. The Yesha Council. The following is an excerpt of an article that I wrote over five years ago about the Yesha Council. It is even more relevant today:

On the eve of the Jewish new year of 5754 I hung a note on the bulletin board of my settlement, Neve Aliza. The note delineated a simple plan that would prevent the implementation of the developing Oslo Accords. I was a private person. I didn't know anybody in a leadership position in the Yesha Council, and the neighborhood bulletin board was the only outlet for my ideas.

Arafat and his cohorts were still in Tunis. Nobody in Israel really believed that Rabin would actually bring him to Israel and shake his hand. After all the years that Israel had blacklisted Arafat, the Americans were also astounded by the idea. Arafat was subject to strong internal pressure and suspicion was rampant. At that point, Oslo seemed to be a fragile non-starter.

The plan that I outlined in that note was based on the fact that the core of Oslo - the territories that were slated to be surrendered to the Arabs - were strewn with Jewish settlements. A significant change on the ground would necessarily torpedo any secret agreements being put together. If every settlement would build an outpost near it and re-populate it every time it would be destroyed, it would be impossible for the government to continue in the Oslo direction. The plan detailed exactly how to carry out the project simply and effectively.

On Rosh Hashanah, our neighborhood rabbi asked me to provide him with more details. Right after the holiday, many neighbors gathered in my home and the next day a delegation of rabbis, doctors and other very respectable people from our neighborhood traveled to Jerusalem to get the ball rolling.

Where did we go? To the place that seemed most natural to start: the official leadership of the settlers - the Yesha Council.

I will not tire my readers with all the details. You can read them (and it is important for everyone who wants to carry out an effective struggle today to do so) in my book, "Where There Are no Men." I will just state a few facts:

• The Yesha Council gave us its blessing and adopted the plan.
• The Yesha Council took upon itself to carry it out - and did nothing.
• When we began to carry out the plan ourselves, the Yesha Council delayed and sabotaged it.
• The very little that we nevertheless managed to carry out despite the stubborn opposition of the Yesha Council (six outposts) really did have the potential to stop Oslo - if we had only been able to continue.
• About a year later, in the summer of 5755, when we decided to block traffic throughout the country, we had already learned our lesson. We made sure not to have any connection at all with the Yesha Council and not to rely on it. The road blocking project was successful beyond all our expectations.

That is how Zo Artzeinu was born.

No, the people in the Yesha Council are not less idealistic than we are and they do not have personal motives. It goes much deeper than that. They are the old guard of Religious Zionism - the elite of Sebastia. These are the people who, in the '70s, drew the strength from their faith to run ahead of Zionism. But they never drew the strength to lead it. For these wonderful people, the source of the legitimacy of the Return to Zion is Zionism - not Judaism. In Sebastia they were nothing more than Yigal Alon with a skullcap and ritual fringes. They thought that Shimon Peres had just gotten a bit tired, so they will run ahead and he will eventually catch up.

We need to understand that running to the people and convincing them is exactly the Yesha Council's forte. But to go into a head-on battle against the very foundation on which they stand - is simply impossible.

(From "The Greatest Danger to the Struggle for Gush Katif," p. 196, The War of Dreams by Moshe Feiglin).

The Yesha public, like most people in Israel, is deeply connected to its Jewish identity, knows the truth, believes in its Jewish destiny and easily interfaces with actions that propel them toward their goals.

The "trick" that prevents the Jewish Nation from progressing toward its destiny repeats itself in different variations throughout history. You don't need thousands of riot police to stop 30,000 idealists with self sacrifice unparalleled since the splitting of the Red Sea from marching out of Kfar Maimon and saving Gush Katif. All you need is a cunning political and spiritual leadership that knows how to play both sides of the coin and gradually deflate the lofty spirit that motivates the masses.

This is the same deception used by the leadership of the fledgling State of Israel in the War of Independence to allow the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem to be destroyed and relinquished to the Jordanian enemy. This is precisely the method that will be employed to destroy the settlements in Judea and Samaria if its settlers do not learn from their own experience and appoint authentic and clear leadership now.

The struggle for the Land of Israel, for the Temple and for Israel's Jewish destiny is first and foremost the struggle for leadership of Israel. Manhigut Yehudit is doing its utmost to establish authentic Jewish leadership for the State of Israel. The settlers of Yesha must establish authentic Jewish leadership for the settlements. If the struggle for the outposts is not accompanied by a struggle for the leadership of Yesha, Wallerstein and his friends will lead the "battle" against Netanyahu's expulsion plans. The end of the story is already a given.

It is important to build new outposts in the Land of Israel and we salute those who do so. It is less pleasant to establish new leadership for Yesha. But it is much more vital!

The Petition to Save Roi Klein's Home

By Aryeh Sonnenberg

Many of you may have received an email petition request to try to convince the government not to destroy a Jewish community. In this community lies the home of Ro'i Klein, a precious, Jewish soldier who gave his life in the Lebanon II war "al Kiddush Hashem."

The theory about the email that is going around is that 100,000 signatures on a petition will change the fate of the intended destruction.

Please bear with me while I present a logical flow:

Do you think that Netanyahu has the power to prevent this? Let's assume YES.
Do you think that Netanyahu cares about this? Let's assume NO.

So the question is, what can we do to make Netanyahu care about it?

Let's examine some things that Netanyahu does and does not care about:

Does he care about the Ichud HaLeumi MKs? NO, they are not in the government.

Does he care about the Bayit HaLeumi MKs? NO, their numbers are completely irrelevant even from within the government.

Doe he care about the Likud MKs? YES, he must, as they are in the government, and they are a very large part of his coalition.

So, let's assume that if we can get the Likud MKs to make Netanyahu care, then we may have found a way to stop the intended destruction.

But, getting so many MKs to care about something seems like a very daunting task. What can we do????

Well, let's examine what all MKs care about:

Is the most important thing to them to remain an MK for as long as possible? Let's assume YES.

So, what does a Likud MK need in order to remain an MK now and in the future? A Likud MK is elected via Likud members.

Does a Likud MK need 100,000 signatures of people, of whom only a fraction may vote for him? NO. Does a Likud MK need 15,000 Likud members to vote for him in the internal Likud elections? YES.

So, if 15,000 people joined Likud today, would that stop the intended destruction?

Of course not, as it would be very easy for a Likud MK to assume that a good number of these people are Bibi-supporters, and would not support the Right-wing Likud MKs in the future elections anyway.


If 5,000 people joined the Likud this month via Manhigut Yehudit, then every Likud MK would know that if they want to get elected to the next Knesset, they had better be strong and fight Netanyahu (toe the Likud party line), or their chances of being elected next term would be close to zero. Even though Feiglin was "thrown out" of the Knesset, most everyone admits that his voter control was the strongest determinator of who was elected to the Knesset this time, and all the MKs know this.

So, the way to get Bibi to care is to put pressure on him in the only place where it makes a difference.

To join the Likud via Manhigut Yehudit click here or contact Aryeh Sonnenberg at 054-499-1733.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Silence of the Jewish Lambs

By David Podvin

The presidents of Jewish organizations in the United States were craven accomplices to the Holocaust. They refused to support imperiled Jews abroad because doing so would have created controversy at home. As six million of their brethren were being slaughtered, American Jews recoiled into the fetal position. Six decades later, the current American Jewish hierarchy has just visited the White House to demonstrate that while the names may have changed, the cowardice remains.

Jewish leaders in America know that supporting Israel requires opposing Barack Obama, which as Hillary Clinton and John McCain learned means being marginalized as racists. It is a price these invertebrates are unwilling to pay. The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee and Hadassah were therefore silently complicit when Obama permitted Turkey to supply the Hezbollah-dominated Lebanese military with weapons that will kill Israeli Jews.

There was additional silence from the National Council Of Jewish Women and the Union For Reform Judaism and the National Jewish Democratic Council when Obama granted to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip $900 million that will finance the murders of countless other Israeli Jews.

There has also been stony silence from the Orthodox Union and the United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs following Obama's decisions to deprive Israel of the fighter jets and attack helicopters necessary to fend off the Nazi-esque terrorist groups that he is subsidizing.

The silence of the American Jewish lambs has been deafening as Obama insists that Israel must not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons designed to eradicate Zionism.

Obama has treated Israel the way any rational person would expect Israel to be treated by a guy who spent twenty years attending an anti-Semitic church. Meanwhile, the American Jewish community has been afflicted with a severe case of moral laryngitis. Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has lost its voice. The group, which Internet liberals constantly identify as being the driving force behind a diabolical Hebrew conspiracy, steadfastly refuses to challenge Obama's irrational hostility towards the Jewish state.

For months, there have been leaks to the media claiming that the leaders of America's major Jewish organizations are “privately distressed” about Obama's relentless anti-Israel jihad. These are the self-serving whispers of Machiavellian poltroons. When Jewish leaders were presented the golden opportunity to challenge Obama on July 13, they responded by delivering the most submissive White House performance since the days of Monica Lewinsky.

Fairness dictates noting that two of the fifteen leaders in attendance did take an unyielding stance. Debra DeLee of Americans For Peace Now and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street acted as powerful advocates for the Palestinian murderers they so love. In the ongoing conflict featuring Israel and Hamas, these progressive Jewish leaders have declared “neutrality”. Yet theirs is the liberal form of neutrality, which consists of demanding that Israel capitulate to genocidal anti-Semites.

Following the meeting, Ben-Ami gloated that the Zionist Entity would soon learn the futility of requesting American Jewish support against Obama's predations. It seems unlikely that Israel would ever count on American Jews for anything. Israelis know that when the time arrived to make the pressure-packed decision between saving European Jewry from annihilation or worshiping Franklin Roosevelt, American Jews choked.

Now, they are choking again.

The communists had useful idiots, people who lacked the common sense to perceive they were supporting a cause that despised them. The Jewish community has provided Obama with useful eunuchs who lack the testicular fortitude to oppose a president practicing the "even-handed" approach between the Jews and the Jew killers.

The president whom Jewish leaders abjectly adore refuses to meet an Israeli foreign minister who doesn't like Arabs, but Obama warmly embraces a Holocaust-denying Palestinian president who financed the massacre of Jewish athletes. Obama's wrath is directed not against Islamic terrorists but Jewish carpenters. He is a grotesque bigot who should be publicly confronted and thoroughly humiliated.

Instead, American Jews compete to see who can be his most prostrate sycophant.

As a result, Israeli Jews find themselves going back to the future...specifically 1939. Reviled by the world, not for what they do but for who they are. Threatened with annihilation by implacable anti-Semites. Abandoned by an American president disdainful of their plight.

And cursed with fellow religionists who embrace the adage that a bowed head is never severed. Had John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer-Prize-winning book been about the American Jewish community, it most definitely would not have been titled “Profiles In Courage.”