It's Time To Think Big And Take Power in Israel!
© 2006/5766 Ariel Natan Pasko
"Without vision, the people run wild..." (Proverbs 29:18). Boy, King Solomon sure was a wise guy. He could have been living in modern Israel. He sure did understand aimless Israeli politicians.
"Palestine," just became "Hamastan". Under an escalating Islamic siege (the "Peace Process") supported by much of the West, social and economic problems are growing in Israel, yet with elections coming up, almost no one running seems to have a clue what to do.
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been characterized as a ladder climber, a consummate politician of the Simon Peres variety. Zigzagging from right to left to right to left over the years, he's increasingly come under the influence of his far-left wife. Come to think of it, most of the Kadima Party politicians are either ladder-climbing junior politician wannabees drifting left, or senior-level corruption laden hacks, trying to clean up their image by jumping the "corrupt" Likud ship. There's probably not more than a handful of "principled centrists" (whatever that means) among them. And in spite of Kadima unveiling parts of its platform recently, it's still not clear exactly what they stand for, beyond, getting elected.
Oh yah, they call for "compassionate" capitalism, in contrast to Likud's "Tough Thatcherism". They want to continue unilateral expulsion of more Jews from their homes; to show they can do it. No political dialogue with a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (well maybe just a little), using a back door "security cooperation" excuse, and well, getting elected.
Likud's not much better. Remember they're the party that brought you the first ethnic cleansing of the 21st century, kicking the Jews out of Gush Katif. Netanyahu had something going when he was Finance Minister, but committed most of the mistakes I warned about in my article, "Israeli Capitalism with a Human Face," back in March 2003. Which has brought about what I predicted, a "neo-socialist backlash," in the guise of the mustachioed Stalin look-alike, Amir Peretz, of the Labor Party, spouting 1950's Histadrut (trade union) rhetoric. Neither Likud nor Labor can get us out of this mess, heck they both have conspired for the last fifty-some years to create it.
Obviously, you know I wouldn't suggest Yossi Beilin's ultra-left, defeatist, Meretz gang, the "Good Israeli Arab" parties, or Avigdor Lieberman's secular Russian "law and order" party, Yisrael Beiteinu. Lieberman wants to de-judaize Israel by introducing civil marriage. So do Peretz, Olmert, and Netanyahu. Nor, would I support the overly sectoral Hareidi (religious) parties, Shas or United Torah Judaism (even though their hearts are in the right place), it just doesn't substitute for brains and good policies.
Which leaves us with two groups, the newly combined National Union/National Religious Party of Rabbi Benny Elon, Zevulun Orlev, and Effie Eitam, and Hazit (The Jewish National Front), led by Baruch Marzel. Both groups are made up of hard working, dedicated, primarily religious Jews, who are supporters of settlement in the Land of Israel. The National Religious Party component is a bit weaker on the Land issue, but makes up for it in their concern for education and the Jewish character of Israeli society. Unfortunately, National Union has dropped its "Transfer" plank from the combined platform, due to NRP pressure.
Hazit continues in the tradition of its precursors, Kach, Yamin Yisrael, and Herut, calling for the expulsion of Arab enemies from the Jewish State. One "Chidush," something new on the Israeli political horizon, is Hazit's adoption of the political reform program of Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Yamin Yisrael), including his proposed "Jewish and Democratic Constitution". It's not bad (take a look) as reform plans go. But it's not clear that they will even break the threshold and get into the Knesset.
"Without a vision, the people cast off restraint; but those that implement the Torah [vision], they will rejoice!" (Proverbs 29:18).
The first priority of a leader is to create a powerful vision. Jewish leaders must present the nation of Israel with worthy goals. They must create meaning for the Jewish People; goals worth striving for, goals worth sacrificing for, goals based on the vision of our Prophets, for a just yet prosperous society, goals based on the Torah's vision of the Jewish People's Messianic Future.
Several Israeli writers of the Left have recently analyzed the differences between the "Palestinians" and Israelis. They've pointed out that the goal of "Palestinians" is very concrete, a Palestinian State (I would argue Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the rest also want no Jews in "Palestine," another concrete goal). Whereas, Israel's goal of "Peace" is abstract, nebulous, and difficult to express. To them, that explains why the Arabs of Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza have been better able to formulate policies, and mobilize their population for the struggle. Lamenting the situation, Israeli leftists argue "Peace" must be "concretized," visions of a better future must be built, in order to rally the Israeli masses.
They are definitely on to something, and we need to be concerned.
For some time now, I've been saying the biggest problem for the Israeli Right, the nationalist and religious public, is that the Left has captured the Israeli political agenda. Their "Peace Pipe Dreams" have lulled Israelis into a "False Messianic Stupor". At best, the Right has been reactive, a reactionary movement trying to hold onto what was, while, Peres, Rabin, Sarid, Beilin, and more recently Sharon and Olmert have undermined the "National Camp" with their "positive" agenda. That's why Likud has been drifting left for years. That's why Likud finally imploded. That's why (among other reasons), Kadima came into being. Netanyahu was part of this and hasn't changed.
Even politicians from NU and the NRP, rabbis and generals included, sat until the last moments, in the Sharonist Expulsion Government watching Gush Katif's planned destruction. NU/NRP officials are campaigning on the theme, "you need to vote for us, we will keep Netanyahu in line". They don't even imagine themselves leading the nation, only as "backbones" for Likud.
The Jewish People deserve leaders who exude confidence in their glorious future. It's time to think big and take power in Israel!
Instead of being reactionary, instead of being the naysayers of Israeli society, always being "against" the agenda of the Left, the Right and specifically the Religious Right (whatever that means), the Torah Nationalists, have to present their own positive agenda, no holds barred, to Israeli society. Patriotic nationalist and religious politicians have to stop playing the game by the rules of the Left. It's time to tell the nation what we are for, it's time for the Pro-Geula/Pro-Redemption forces to start advocating clear policies that will enable the Jewish People to achieve its Redemptive/Messianic goals in history.
Do you think the G-D of Israel brought the Jews home from all four corners of the earth, after nearly 2,000 years of exile, just for the fun of it?
What might some of these goals be?
Easily summarized, they can be described as, Kingdom, War, Law, Prosperity, Righteous Justice, and Spirituality.
1. Israel needs a strongly Pro-Jewish government. Prof. Eidelberg's Jewish Constitutional Democracy Movement isn't a bad start as I said earlier. Better yet, how about exploring a Malchut/Kingdom. While waiting for the "Son of David" to arrive, in the meantime, the Torah empowers the Jewish People to establish a temporary government of it's choosing. The Maccabees had a Kingdom. Monarchy provides a type of stability that democracy doesn't.
2. Since the rise of Islamofascism worldwide, Iran, al-Qaeda, and others, and particularly Hamastan in parts of the Land of Israel, a strong hand must be used by Israel to defend its people and interests. The conclusions of an earlier article of mine, "There Is Only A Military Solution," ring truer today than ever. In war you fight to win. It's time to tell the Jewish People the truth, the Arabs in Israel, the so-called "Palestinians," are Amalek trying to replace us in our homeland. This is total war; there will be only one winner, the Jewish People.
3. The legal system of Israel should be brought in line with the values of the Torah. A Sanhedrin, a working Jewish Supreme Court according to Torah Law, is beginning to come into existence through the efforts of many rabbis and lay leaders.
4. A society based on Torah Law will both free up the economy in key ways and establish healthy limits to economic activity, stressing other values beyond consumer consumption. It will encourage Chesed (acts of kindness) and Tzedek (righteousness and justice) through the social sector, so as not to build prosperity on the backs of the poor and the weak. A just and prosperous society is our goal. The final stage of ingathering the exiles will be accomplished, bringing historical justice to the Jewish People.
5. Certainly, we need to clean off the Temple Mount those insults to our religion, the so-called dome and mosque. Jewish Spiritual Rebirth demands complete control of our holiest places in the Land of Israel. Let's think really big. It's time to build the Third Temple on Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount).
Really big dreams, really big goals, are what sustain people through difficult times and drive them on toward success. It's time for Jewish leaders with real vision to step forward and say what needs to be said. They need to show the Jewish People the way forward to national redemption and spiritual fulfillment. Jews will rally around real leaders who have their real interests at heart. Jewish destiny and a glorious future lie before us, it's up to us to reach out and grab it.
"Where there is no vision, the nation becomes discontent; but when the Torah [vision] is implemented, they will rejoice!" (Proverbs 29:18).
It's time to think big and take power in Israel!
Ariel Natan Pasko
is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a
Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis.
His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank
websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko