Knesset Speech on Jonathan Pollard
24 Adar, 5773 (March 6, '13)
Moshe Feiglin made his
debut Wednesday in the Knesset with a moving and patriotic speech. His
opening remarks were not part of his planned speech, but brought at least
one MK to tears:
"I have listened to all the debut speeches," Feiglin began. "Excellent
speeches, some of them virtuoso speeches. But when I listened to your
speech, MK Mickey Levy, (see minute
1:10 on the video, where Yesh Atid MK Levi breaks out in a big smile) a former police Major
General, a person who I was used to seeing on the other side of a great
divide – you as a police officer and myself as a protester – when you spoke
about how you lost your brother in the Jordan Valley, my heart skipped a
I was a young platoon commander on duty in a reserve unit. A new regiment
commander had been assigned to our regiment and the commander came to visit
our position in the Jordan Valley. He asked me, in front of my soldiers, if
all was well.
'No,' I answered.
'Why not?' he asked.
'Look over there,' I said to him. 'Anybody can cross over that bridge and
continue up that path there, hidden from view, come around the back of our
position under cover of that ridge, enter without anybody even noticing and
Much to my surprise, the regiment commander became furious. He admonished me
in front of my astounded soldiers and angrily left our position. I was
confused. 'He probably knows something that I don't know,' I said to myself
and put the incident out of my head.
Our tour of duty finished. I came home. Approximately one year later, I
heard that an IDF soldier was killed at that position in the Jordan Valley,
precisely as I had warned. And here, Mickey, in our opening speeches in the
19th Knesset, this story has come full circle. (Watch Mickey Levi at 5:18 wiping the tears
from his face).
My heart ached. I was terribly angry at myself. I should have protested,
left my position against the rules and demanded the attention of the brigade
commander. I should never have believed that my commanding officer knew
something that I didn't know.
Remember, Members of the 19th Knesset. What you perceive is the reality that
you must work with. When we adopt somebody else's worldview, we betray our
duty. The agenda in which we believe is our responsibility and our authority
and we must do all we can to bring it to fruition.
A few years later, the Oslo Accords came into our world. Once again, I
clearly saw the catastrophe about to happen. I saw the thousands of victims
and even worse – the loss of legitimacy for our very right to exist as a
state. For if you recognize the Organization for the Liberation of the Land
of Israel from its Jews, (Ed: the PLO) what can you possibly claim?
This time, I did not remain silent. The entire country stood and cheered the
emperor's new clothes and I insisted on telling the truth."
Moshe went on to describe the civil disobedience that he adopted in the Zo
Artzeinu protests, citing that it was the "greatest display of liberty and
democracy that the State of Israel has ever known." He decried the next step
in the Oslo Accords, the destruction of Gush Katif. "Even though Tel Aviv is
now targeted from the ruins of Gush Katif," he continued, the Oslo worm
continues to destroy us from inside. Today, as we speak, Israeli forces are
destroying Ma'aleh Rehavam."
From there, Moshe turned to his family roots: He is a descendant of the
Chabad rabbis whose ancestors made aliyah to Israel in the 1880's,
pioneering the settlements of Metulah and Mishmar Hayarden.
"When, against all odds, we managed to restore the Likud and the National
Camp to power in 1996, it turned out that the Right really didn't have an
alternative to Oslo," Moshe continued. "Then I understood that the debate is
not really between Right and Left: It is not a debate over territory. It is
a debate of identity. It is a debate between the Jew and the Israeli. The
fact that the Right ascends to power is not enough to stop the
deterioration. It is imperative to infuse our national conversation with
Jewish meaning and content.
2000 years ago, we went into exile and it was not at all clear how we would
survive without the Holy Temple, bereft of the authentic Jewish culture of a
nation in its homeland. Then the Jewish nation invented the most successful
start-up in history. It is called the Jewish religion. Judaism, which is
much more than just a religion, discarded its territorial dimension and
became something adaptable to the individual, the family and the community;
something that can be packed into the knapsack and moved to a new place
every time the Jews had to flee violence and pogroms. Religion became the
lifeline of the Jews in exile.
2000 years later, the pioneers who came to revive the Land of Israel felt
that this lifeline had become a noose. They had to cut it to feel the earth
under their feet. Those tremendous energies sprang forth, giving birth to
the State of Israel.
Dear friends: Israeli society has hit an ethical dead-end. We can no longer
justify our sovereign existence in this Land without our Father, our King,
Whom we had left behind in the exile.
We must reconnect to our identity. When we return to ourselves, we will be
able to afford full liberty and human rights to our neighbors, as well.
I pray that G-d will give me the strength to connect vision with reality, to
restore the State of Israel to itself and its destiny, in the service of the
Nation of Israel and the vision of the prophets: to perfect the world in the
Kingdom of Heaven."
Watch the video at 27:50, where MK Mickey Levi hugs Moshe, telling him that
he is happy to hug him and not arrest him. You can watch some of the other
MKs also congratulating Moshe on his debut speech.
Likud MK Tzippy Hotobelli spoke after Moshe, welcoming him to the Knesset
and calling him a "great visionary."