Sunday, May 22, 2005

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Hypocracy revealed: Israeli Institute for Democracy

(Cross posted to Mystical Paths, Israpundit, and ENGAGE)

Moshe Feiglin, the head of the Jewish Leadership faction of the Likud party and head of the (now dissolved) This Is Our Land (Zo Artzranu) movement, writes (from the Jewish Press) about a meeting in Kedumim (one of the oldest Jewish towns in the Shomron - West Bank, about 35 years old) between the residents and the euphimistically named Israeli Institute for Democracy. Here is an excerpt:

The lectures continued. One after another, each learned person explains why we should obey orders.

Prof. Ravitzki is getting worked up. "You have to under­stand that all these years in which we sent our sons to places and wars that we opposed, we did so in order to preserve de­mocracy. It is inconceivable that now that we are finally actu­alizing our philosophy you should suddenly start break­ing the rules and refusing to obey orders."

The performance goes on and on, and at 2:30 in the morn­ing Prof. Kremnitzer finishes condemning refusal to obey or­ders. Prof. Cannon then invites me to respond. "Only because it's so late, please speak briefly," he requests. I would need 10 full speeches in order to say everything I feel about this group of people. However, I didn't come for the panelists, but for the humiliated public in Kedumim.

"You are the nation!" I say, speaking directly to the set­tlers. "For many years, you have been isolated from the gen­eral Israeli culture, without influence. With the disintegration of the religious Zionist movement, you can now assume your rightful place, a position of leadership in the country."

"Tell me, please," I asked Prof Kremnitzer, "suppose that tomorrow I am Prime Minister, and I decide—according to the proper procedures and in accordance with all the rules of democracy—to apply the eviction-compensation law to Arab villages. In this case also will the Israeli Institute for Democracy get aboard a bus, travel to all the villages, and explain to the Arabs that there is no alterna­tive, and that in the name of democracy they must obey the law?"

"But they are not Israeli citizens," cried Prof. Carmon.

"OK," I reply. "Let's apply the eviction-compensation law to the residents of Tira and Taibeh (Israeli Arab villages near the Green LIne), in the State of Israel. There the Arabs have a proper blue ID card. Exactly the same law and the same Supreme Court ruling will be on my side. Will you then persuade them to leave?"

Prof. Kremnitzer shook his head.

"Thank you for your honesty," I continued. "You are fasci­nating people, and I can learn a lot from you. I'm ready to lis­ten to you all night, but you have to admit that the last thing that you are representing is democracy."

It is now three in the morning. The journey home from Kedumim doesn't leave me a lot of time for reflection. In the same night I met the nation that isn't the State, and the State that isn't the nation. It seems that this distortion is coming to an end. Those people who regard themselves as the State, sens­ing the danger facing them, are desperately attempting to sink the flagship of those who have the belief, vitality, and force to lead, who aim to restore the State to the nation.

How to navigate during this process? How to embrace those desiring to destroy you, without adopting their philosophy?

G-d preserve us.

More info on Moshe Feiglin and the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) program, click to www.jewishisrael.org

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