It's Time to Think Big and Take Power in Israel

The Right has been reactive, a reactionary movement trying to hold onto what was, while Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Rabin, Yossi Sarid, Yossi Beilin, and, more recently, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, have undermined the national camp with their "positive" agenda.

Ariel Natan Pasko

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"Without vision, the people run wild...." (Proverbs 29:18) King Solomon could have been living in modern Israel. "Palestine" just became "Hamastan". Social and economic problems are growing in Israel, due to the escalating Islamic siege (the "peace process"), supported by much of the West. Yet, with elections coming up, almost no one running seems to have a clue what to do.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, zigzagging from Right to Left over the years, has apparently come under the influence of his far-left wife. Most of the Kadima party are either ladder-climbing junior politicians drifting Left, or senior-level corruption-laden hacks. It's still not clear exactly what they stand for beyond getting elected.

Oh, right, Kadima is calling for "compassionate" capitalism, in contrast to Likud's "tough Thatcherism". They want to carry out more unilateral expulsions of Jews, setting "permanent" borders by 2008. They promise no political dialogue with a Hamas government (maybe just a little, using a back door "security cooperation" excuse). And, well, getting elected.

Likud's not much better. 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" (Part I and Part II). That 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 1950s 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.

Avigdor Liberman's secular, Russian "law and order" party, Yisrael Beiteinu, wants to de-Judaize Israel by introducing civil marriage. In contrast, the overly sectoral Hareidi (religious) parties, Shas or United Torah Judaism, have their hearts in the right place, but that doesn't substitute for good policies.

Which leaves us with the newly combined National Union-National Religious Party of Rabbi Benny Elon and Zevulun Orlev, and Hazit (the National Jewish Front) led by Baruch Marzel. Both groups are made up of hard-working, primarily religious Jews who are supporters of settlement in the Land of Israel. Unfortunately, National Union has dropped its "transfer" plank from the combined platform due to NRP pressure.

Hazit continues in the tradition of Kach, Yamin Yisrael and Herut, calling for the expulsion of Arab enemies from the Jewish State. Hazit has adopted the political reform program of Professor Paul Eidelberg (Yamin Yisrael), including his proposed "Jewish and Democratic Constitution". It's not bad as reform plans go.

"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, worth sacrificing for, based on the vision of our Prophets, for a just and 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; whereas, Israel's goal of "peace" is abstract, nebulous and difficult to express. 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 that "peace" must be "concretized", visions of a better future must be built, in order to rally the Israeli masses.

They are definitely onto 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 Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Rabin, Yossi Sarid, Yossi Beilin, and, more recently, Ariel Sharon and Ehud 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 Kadima came into being. Binyamin Netanyahu was part of this and hasn't changed.

Even politicians from the NU-NRP 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, to 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 and the nay-sayers of Israeli society, always being "against" the agenda of the Left, the Right - and specifically the religious Right, the Torah nationalists - has to present its 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-Geulah - 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? They can be summarized 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. Better yet, how about exploring a kingdom? While waiting for the Son of David to arrive, the Torah empowers the Jewish people to establish a temporary government of its choosing. The Maccabees had a kingdom. Monarchy provides a type of stability that democracy doesn't.

2. With the rise of Islamo-fascism worldwide, Iran, Al-Qaeda 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. 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, building prosperity without hurting 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. 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 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, say what needs to be said, and show the Jewish people the way to national redemption and spiritual fulfillment. Jews will rally around 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.

(c) 2006/5766 Pasko