Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moshe Feiglin's sickening op-ed on Gaza

It is a depressing and alarming fact, but one that people of good will need to face up to honestly, that there are some politicians in the Israeli Knesset who can sound almost as bad as Hamas or Hizbullah (or the Iranian propaganda machine, or the influential Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, or too many politicians in Europe during the first four decades of the 20th century and around the Middle East today). One of them is Moshe Feiglin, an MK since 2013, who offered his "outline for a solution in Gaza" in a recent op-ed:  Israel should take the gloves off; crush Hamas completely, even if that requires flattening Gaza; and prevent future trouble by expelling the Arab population from Gaza. (OK, individuals in Gaza who want to be relocated to Israel would be offered permanent-resident status, and sometime down the line could apply for Israeli citizenship.) No, I'm not exaggerating. You can read his "clear and concise" piece below.

Feiglin has for some time been an active figure on the ultra-nationalist far right of Israeli politics. In addition to his unabashedly extremist and rejectionist position on the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts, Feiglin's approach to the treatment of Israel's Arab citizens often goes beyond xenophobic hostility to outright racist discrimination, and over the years he has made little effort to conceal his more generally authoritarian inclinations.

Some of Feiglin's views are reminiscent, to a degree, of the late Meir Kahane's. But whereas Kahane was a marginalized demagogue whose party was outlawed, Feiglin is a member in good standing of the Likud Party, head of a major party faction, and currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. His recommendations in this op-ed do not express Israeli government policy, nor the policy of any party in the present governing coalition. But the fact that someone like Feiglin is not a complete political pariah is a sign of real sickness in Israel's body politic.

It also provides one more indication of why Israel desperately needs a genuine and durable peace settlement with the Palestinians and with the larger Arab world—not only to improve its external situation, but also to help prevent the kind of poisonous inner corruption exemplified by figures like Feiglin. In that respect, Feiglin is simultaneously part of the problem and one symptom of a deeper long-term problem.

Of course, contrary to some widespread illusions, Israel can't simply make peace all by itself. But Israeli governments need to be trying much harder to achieve that goal, which the current government has not really pursued with any seriousness. And Israel needs to stop pursuing policies—like maintaining and expanding the settlement enterprise in the West Bank—which undermine the possibility of ever reaching a peace settlement, and which also happen to be self-destructive as well as unjust.

—Jeff Weintraub

Arutz Sheva (
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
My Outline for a Solution in Gaza
Clear and concise, the steps towards achieving quiet in Gaza.

By Moshe Feiglin

Ultimatum – One warning from the Prime Minister of Israel to the enemy population, in which he announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. Hamas may unconditionally surrender and prevent the attack.

Attack – Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental [collateral?] damage’. It is enough that we are hitting exact targets and that we gave them advance warning.

Siege – Parallel to the above, a total siege on Gaza. Nothing will enter the area. Israel, however, will allow exit from Gaza. (Civilians may go to Sinai, fighters may surrender to IDF forces).

Defense – Any place from which Israel or Israel’s forces were attacked will be immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.

Conquer – After the IDF completes the "softening" of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.

Elimination - The GSS and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

Sovereignty – Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.

According to polls, most of the Arabs in Gaza wish to leave. Those who were not involved in anti-Israel activity will be offered a generous international emigration package. Those who choose to remain will receive permanent resident status. After a number of years of living in Israel and becoming accustomed to it, contingent on appropriate legislation in the Knesset and the authorization of the Minister of Interior, those who personally accept upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land, will be offered Israeli citizenship.