Arutz Sheva - IsraelNationalNews.com - March 15, 2002

WAR NOW

by Moshe Feiglin

There is a time for war and a time for peace. Now is the time for war.

Not a war in order to bring them to the negotiations table. Nor a war to bring peace. Nor a war because there is no alternative. Not even a war to halt the terrorist attacks.

But a war of justice.

A war of morality. A war for the truth.

A war - because everything else means coming to terms with badness, evil and cruelty. A war - because we are the good ones. A war - because we are the responsible ones.

A holy war, now.

Our sages taught us that those who have mercy on cruel people end up being cruel to merciful people. It's not the Arabs who are murdering mothers, but those merciful people who gave weapons to the murderers. It's not the Arabs who are burning babies, but the peaceniks that recognized the justice of the Arab cause. It's not the cruel people who are bombing us, but the merciful people who showed them mercy.

War now. A holy war. Now.

Israel has never made a declaration of war. This may sound surprising, but Israel has always seen itself as being in a state of war. The state that has experienced five wars has never actually been at war. We have faced a threat, we have fought for our lives, but we have never declared war and gone to fight for a justified issue. We removed the threat and paused.

Over the years, we did reserve army duty by patrolling along the electronic security fence on the border. One night, while the command car was slowly proceeding along the bank of the Jordan River, I asked the sleepy driver: "Tell me something - why is there a fence here?" The driver thought I was trying to make fun of him. For years we have been holding the line in this region and now suddenly I start asking why there's a fence here?

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Why is the fence on our side of the river and not on the other side - on their bank? After all, they lost the war, didn't they?"

The driver got confused and I went back to my own thoughts. "The truth is," I said to him in the end, "that there was never a war and they never lost it. They threatened us from Kalkilya, so we pushed them away to here and now they continue to threaten us from here. If there had actually been a war that we had won, there would be no need for a fence; certainly not on our side of the river."

Israel has never had a war, because it has never had a sense of justice. All we ever had was a need for survival. Survival became the meaning of our life and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center has formed a substitute for the Temple. It is permissible to fight to survive, but not for justice. Somehow, we managed to face up to the Arab countries. Our defense against them has been regarded as an alternative to justice, because they were more numerous and stronger than us, and because, in Christian morality, the weak party is always in the right.

The Almighty has had enough of this. For how long can the Jews be permitted to evade their true function? He decided to force us to acquire a meaning to our lives. He played a kind of sophisticated trick on us: He brought us a weak enemy, a kind of enemy that doesn't seem to threaten our survival. Now, we are the big and strong ones. With the Christian morality we have adopted we are incapable of fighting. We can only perform police activities, eliminating pockets of terrorists. Whatever the analysts say, we are incapable of going to war without justice. We are bleeding and dying and are incapable of facing up to a small, weak and wretched enemy, an enemy who has exposed Israel's weak spot, who has exposed the fact that Israel lacks a sense of justice. The Almighty is simply forcing us to admit that we are right - otherwise, we will die.

In order to declare that we are right, we have to declare war. War now. In America, the citizens enthusiastically went to war for a justified issue - the liberation of the slaves. Volunteers from all over the world joyfully participated in the Spanish civil war, allied soldiers sang while they boarded the trains to the front in the war against Nazi Germany. They believed that they were in the right. This was a source of encouragement to them. They declared war.

We are incapable of doing so, because we lack a sense of justice. We have no alternative other than to return to ourselves and to Jewish justice. We must roll up our sleeves and set up real objectives.

Our sages taught us that those who have mercy on cruel people end up being cruel to merciful people. It's not the Arabs who are murdering mothers, but those merciful people who gave weapons to the murderers. It's not the Arabs who are burning babies, but the peaceniks that recognized the justice of the Arab cause. It's not the cruel people who are bombing us, but the merciful people who showed them mercy.

War now. A holy war. Now.

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Moshe Feiglin, founder and head of Manhigut Yehudit, The Jewish Leadership Movement, led the campaign of mass civil disobedience against the Oslo accords. For other articles by Moshe Feiglin, visit http://www.manhigut.org.



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