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Op-Ed: The Unseen Hand

The 'unseen hand' is a concept taken from economics. Economists believe that in an unrestricted society an ?unseen hand? will cause the economy to reach a state of optimal balance. Yet it seems that the Jewish people has its own special ?unseen hand? that influences it even in fields not related to economics. This hand is returning us against our will to Eretz Israel, to the Jewish people a
Published: Friday, August 23, 2002 11:52 PM


The 'unseen hand' is a concept taken from economics. Economists believe that in an unrestricted society an ?unseen hand? will cause the economy to reach a state of optimal balance.

Yet it seems that the Jewish people has its own special ?unseen hand? that influences it even in fields not related to economics. This hand is returning us against our will to Eretz Israel, to the Jewish people and to the Torah.

It is very easy to discern in Eretz Israel the fingerprints of this ?unseen hand?. The Israeli nation, that wanted so much to give up ?the territories?, currently finds itself present in all the territory, despite its best efforts. When then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to give the Temple Mount to PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who would have believed that within less than two years the IDF would be routinely patrolling in the casba in Nablus (and in all other cities in Samaria) every day? The impression one receives is that the more we try to flee from the country, the more the ?unseen hand? binds us to it against our will. At this rate the IDF will soon establish permanent army camps in the cities of Judea and Samaria.

In all matters related to the Jewish people the ?unseen hand? acts less overtly, but no less effectively. We also wished to abandon our Jewish identity. ?Jew, Arab - what difference does it make?? the cultured Israeli said to himself, ?We are all citizens of this country. I feel closer to a cultured Arab who pays his taxes and doesn't try to interfere with my life than to a primitive Haredi Jew?? Now, after it has emerged that Israeli Arabs were involved in more than half the terrorist attacks; that Israeli Arabs who could have given warning of a murderous attack did not do so; that an Arab doctor refused to treat people injured in an attack; that the leaders of the Arab public openly identify themselves with the enemy - does anyone still have any doubts regarding the difference between Arabs and Jews?

The ?unseen hand? separates the Jewish people from the other nations and forces it to recognize its special and different identity. Even those who thought that we only had a problem with the Arabs and were not troubled by the masses of Gentiles coming to Israel and diluting the Jewish population have now come across anti-Semitic incidents in the big cities. Swastikas have appeared on walls and the demand for autonomy has recently been voiced by Pravoslav immigrants from the former USSR. When the cultured Israeli hears on the news about the appearance of anti-Semitism throughout the world, he begins to understand that there, too, the family of nations is not welcoming him with open arms. The ?unseen hand? has blocked all the routes of flight from our Jewish identity, whether we wished to assimilate inside Eretz Israel or outside it.

Yet the most interesting thing is the way in which the ?unseen hand? is pushing us in the direction of the Torah. I don't mean the cases of individuals deciding to return to observance of the Mitzvot, but of the need to provide an independent scale of values in the light of the international trial that is gaining momentum and is directed principally against Israel. If the Prime Minister is to be brought to trial in the Hague, if international policemen are liable to arrest me because of what I did during my reserve army service in Bethlehem, or because I live in the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem, who says that they are wrong? How can I demonstrate my innocence against the accusing finger of the entire world?

The fact that the entire world wishes to hold international trials based on values prepares the ground for universal moral clarification. The idea of an international court is wonderful. Obviously it is now being cynically exploited against Israel, but the principle has been established. The sole way in which a Jew, who has been ?trapped? in his country and differentiated from the other nations against his will by the ?unseen hand?, can fight against the values in whose name he is being attacked, is to set up an alternative set of values. The only set of values the Jews possess is that which we were given on Mount Sinai and by the Prophets. This set of values is not limited. The ?unseen hand? is returning the Jews against their will to the Torah. When the Jews stand up behind their own values, the false basis of the trial held by the Gentiles in the Hague will crumble, since it derives its strength from the weakness of the Jews.

Jewish values will then form the basis for the just and real international court that will be established beside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

To quote the Prophet Yehezkel (Ezekiel): ?And that which comes into your mind shall never come about, that you say, We will be like the nations, like the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will judge you face to face. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel.?
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Moshe Feiglin heads the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud and is a candidate for party leadership.