This past summer was a difficult one for the Jews in Israel. It started with a kidnapping/murder and ended with rockets and missiles on homes, businesses, camps and day-care centers. Many of our brothers and sisters spent their days and nights in hot, stuffy bomb-shelters and the fun summer of trips and vacations was postponed indefinitely. During the heat of this battle (literally!) my dear friend and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset came out with a statement that all Arab civilians of Gaza should be moved to the Sinai. Moshe’s point was that since Hamas was fighting among the civilian population, it would be impossible to fight a war against them without causing major damage to innocent people. He put aside the question whether these people are really as “innocent” as they claim – having democratically elected Hamas to lead them – and simply dealt with the matter at hand; destroying the enemy while not harming civilians. The problem, however, is that in the jam-packed densely populated city of Gaza, this is just not possible… and Hamas knows it! Hamas, which stands for “Hides Among Mosques And Schools” (well, not really, but it does spell out “HAMAS”) purposely conducts its terror offensive from within the city, using even hospitals as their rocket launching pads. MK Moshe Feiglin therefore came out with a detailed plan to move the civilians to the Sinai so that the IDF could then fight Hamas “man-to-man”.
When Feiglin’s plan became public, he was bitterly attacked by the liberal media. They accused him of wanting to set up concentration camps for the Arabs of Gaza, even though he never said anything of the sort. The media “went to town” on the Feiglin-Gaza-Sinai plan and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed him and attacked him for making this suggestion. As usual, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin did not back down from these attacks. Rather, he explained his position, clarified his point and defended it as the only humane solution to the innocent people caught in the cross-fire. He said that many Arabs would needlessly die if they stayed in Gaza and this plan was the only realistic one that would both defeat the enemy while preserving the life of women and children. I was in New York when Moshe released his plan and found myself being interviewed on both television and radio on this point. Again and again, both Moshe and I stood strong in the face of adversity as we explained the advantages of this plan and how many lives it would save.
Fast forward now about a month. The war is over (well, at least for now…) and the President of Egypt, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announces a new and surprising solution to resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict: Establish a Palestinian State in the Sinai. He said WHAT???
According to the plan, Egypt would provide a 1,600 square kilometer area in the Sinai Peninsula near the Gaza Strip, making the Strip five times its size, where a state would be established under full control of the PA. Don’t get me wrong, we are not endorsing this plan since it contains other suggestions as well such as giving the Arabs major parts of Yehuda and Shomron. I am merely writing this part about the Sinai to show you how President of Egypt Sisi – who fought the Moslem Brotherhood and is certainly no sissy – is agreeing with Moshe Feiglin in calling for the Arabs of Gaza to move to the Sinai.
Who would have thought that the Feiglin-Gaza-Sinai plan would receive an endorsement of sorts from President Sisi of Egypt? How come our phones aren’t ringing off the hook from CNN and Wolf Blitzer asking for a reaction? Why isn’t the NY Times banging on Feiglin’s Knesset office door begging for forgiveness, after attacking him so vehemently, especially since this is Elul and people usually do things like that during this time! Actually, the last two sentences I wrote are jokes. The last thing we expect are apologies from the NY Times and CNN. We have always told people to leave them alone – they do their job and we have to do ours. We are never bothered by their attacks, lies or condemnations and never demand or expect apologies from these clowns. Every generation has its share of “Thomas Friedmans” and “Wolf Blitzers” so don’t get worked up and high blood-pressure from them. Leave them alone and do your job.
When a Jew speaks the truth, it may not be pleasant at first, but if he sticks to it – the world will respect him for it. This is what we need from the world: RESPECT and as my Rabbi; HaRav Meir Kahane used to say; “The world will only respect the Jew when the Jew respects himself.”
So, as we enter the final game in the 5774 season we need to stand up for ourselves. We need to speak the truth, explain our vision for a strong and proud Jewish State and keep working until the entire world acknowledges that Hashem is King. Until then, get ready for battle – both physical and spiritual – and don’t be shocked at people who may start endorsing you along the way. Shana Tova – Happy New Year – to one and all.