The New American
Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Moshe Feiglin, who leads the Manhigut Yehudit (the Jewish Leadership) faction of the ruling Likud Party, spoke to The New American’s Alex Newman in late April during an interview at the Knesset in Jerusalem. (The photo shows MK Feiglin, center, with Newman.) While a controversial figure in Israel and still relatively unknown abroad after his successful election in January, the new lawmaker has developed a strong following among liberty-minded Jews.
However, MK Feiglin has also come under fire for statements about Arabs and Muslims perceived as incendiary — especially the idea that Israel should encourage non-Jews to emigrate, using financial incentives in an effort to create a more Jewish state. The war veteran and former army captain, also a father of five, shared his thoughts on the role of Israel in the world and much more.
The New American: How serious is the threat from Iran? What should be done about it? Does America have any role, or is this just Israel’s problem?
MK Moshe Feiglin: The Israeli strategy is a mistake. I think our prime minister is probably the most capable man to do what needs to be done, but I have a different point of view on the strategy that needs to be taken over here. It seems like today Israel is focusing on making the issue a problem of the whole world, not only Israel, and I think it’s a mistake. I think we should do exactly the opposite. It should start and end for us as an Israeli issue that is our responsibility to solve.
We are not spread in the Diaspora anymore. We are a sovereign country. When somebody is threatening a new holocaust on the state of Israel, it is very important to make it very clear that we are those who are taking responsibility for our own security and we are those who are going to solve the problem by ourselves. It is a crucial message. In the past Israel knew, but somewhere along the way we forgot it.
I think that when Ahmadinejad first — I think about eight years ago, or 10 years ago, I don’t remember exactly when — but the first time that he came with this idea of the destruction of the state of Israel, just talking about it, I think the world was expecting a very immediate reaction — a military reaction — from Israel. When it was not done, the result of it was that the delegitimization of the state of Israel all over the world rose up, because when you are not willing to pay a price to keep your existence, when you show dependence on others to do the job for you, you lose your legitimacy to exist. It is true with every state, but much more than that with the state of the Jews.