Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio -- Jan. 11, 1999 / Tevet 23, 5759

Et Tu, Begin

by Moshe Feiglin


I am very happy about the upcoming elections. True, they messed up our registration drive for a "Candidate of Faith," because instead of singing a solo, we find ourselves suddenly joined on the electoral stage by a plethora of singers, such that our delicate voice singing the truth can barely be heard. In fact, it looks like we will have to let the coming elections pass us by, and continue our drive­of­faith afterwards. But, still and all, I'm happy that Kleiner and friends toppled the government, such that we are now facing new elections.

The reason for my happiness is very simple. Bibi was smack in the middle of giving over the Land of Israel into the hands of Arafat. He had already given over the northern section of Shomron (Samaria), and was just about to surround Beit El with the Palestinian Liberation Army ­ making it something along the lines of Netzarim in Gush Katif ­ when all of a sudden these new elections fell upon him, stopping this insanity, at least for a few months. So the elections did accomplish something positive.


By the way, we can learn something very interesting from this. Suddenly, all the pressure on Israel to give away territory has stopped. The Americans aren't pressuring Bibi, neither is the European Union, and even Arafat has adapted his various declarations to Israel's election schedule. Strange, no? Why should the world care about our elections? What happened ­ all of a sudden there's no one in Israel for them to tell, "Come on, let's go, out of those occupied territories already"?

The answer is simple. No one really takes Oslo or Wye very seriously, and no one really particularly cares for the fate of the Arabs in Gaza, or for the 'legitimate rights' of the terrorists. The world only cares about one thing: the Jews. The world wants to see what we think, and then it will act accordingly. If, for instance, we elect someone who says "Zo Artzeinu ­ This is our land, because this is the decision of the Master of the Universe; no agreement that says otherwise is relevant, because it contradicts what is clearly stated in the Bible, and we will fight anyone who attempts to does not accept this," ­ then, this temporary respite from world pressure that we are enjoying during this election campaign hiatus will become our permanent lot all year round.

But if, on the other hand, we elect someone who admits that the Arab claim to Eretz Yisrael is not totally unfounded ­ someone like Benny Begin, for example, who is proud of the Camp David agreements, the 'original sin,' which created a Palestinian nation out of nothing and recognized its "legitimate rights" ­ or, of course, Bibi Netanyahu, or Ehud Barak, or their clones ­ then the international community will realize that its pressure upon us to make concessions is indicated. The world will say, "Arafat's demands are just ­ even you admit it."

In short, the static situation that we now face can teach us that everything begins and ends with *us.* The world exerts pressure on us only when we agree ­ or maybe even want ­ to be pressured. We should then not have complaints against anyone except ourselves ­ even not to Arafat.


OK. So who should we vote for? This is a very difficult question. We have to make two choices: one candidate for Prime Minister, and one party list for the Knesset. For the Knesset, it's best to vote for the party which will most effectively fight ­ if it can be called that ­ for the Land, the People, and Jewish identity. But for Prime Minister, as of now, there is simply no one for whom to vote.

For all intents and purposes, the process started by the Jewish Leadership movement has been pulled to a grinding halt by the advancing of the elections. Everyone is now involved in much more important issues: the infighting of the Likud, the infighting in Labor, what will Limor [Livnat] do, on which horse will Yitzik [Mordechai] bet, and similar crucial questions. Our voice is therefore not heard amidst the cacophony. We'll apparently have to wait until the storm blows over. Then, when the dust of this election settles, and we return to the sad reality, we'll officially register the Jewish Leadership movement, field a worthy candidate, and continue from where we left off. This is how the situation appears now, although there could always be developments that would change things. In Israel, things change so fast that it's really impossible to know for sure, but at this point, this appears to be the way for us to go.


All of the candidates that are presently running for Prime Minister are committed, in the final analysis, to the Oslo process. Let me say clearly: This includes even Benny Begin. On the day that he announces that we must tear up the Oslo, Hevron, and Wye agreements, and that they do not obligate him ­ I will retract these words of mine. But he will not say this, because all he knows how to say today is the same things that Bibi said three years ago before the last elections. Begin says, "We must keep our agreements, but Arafat did not fulfill his part, and this is how we'll be able to get out of it." Begin, the sworn legalist, can't seem to say that this agreement is invalid because our contract with G­d takes precedence. That's the way it is.

Unfortunately, we can predict fairly accurately what will happen in the near future: Whichever candidate is elected will continue with the withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael, and the security situation in Tel Aviv will deteriorate in direct proportion. The other side's appetite and brazenness will only increase, as will the despair on our side. At some point, not far off, elections will again be held, and the nation will have given up on the recycled, worn­out "solutions" of the usual candidates, and will be willing to listen to something totally new. The members of the Jewish Leadership movement, together with the thousands of registrants who have signed up for our Candidate of Faith campaign, will, at that time, be an excellent nucleus for the sought­for alternative at that difficult time.

Shalom, and Skolnick must be freed.


Moshe Feiglin, a resident of Karnei Shomron, is one of the founders of Zo Arzeinu and the Jewish Leadership movement.

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