Thursday, September 7, 2006



Shalom and thanks for writing.


A number of people have written asking why I didn't mention Moshe Feiglin in my last commentary "The bullet's in the chamber" [].


There were who suggested that I may have a personal aversion to Feiglin, and this in not correct. I have met him on various occasions, though we are not personal friends. I regard him with great respect, as a Jew with tremendous mesirut nefesh (dedication) and for what I consider to be sizable achievements, beginning with "Mitvtza Machpil" and Zu Artzenu and continuing through the present.


As much as I admire Moshe Feiglin, and the political inroads he has made, I do not consider him to be a serious candidate for Prime Minister, at least, not at the present.


Why not? There are several reasons:


  1. As we have seen from recent catastrophies – i.e., Barak and Olmert, Prime Ministers' without necessary experience are not suited for the job. (That doesn't mean that anyone with experience is suitable!)  To the contrary, their inexperience has proved to be calamitous. Feiglin is undoubtedly G-d fearing, honest, and has all the qualities necessary for a true Jewish leader. This does not me, however, that he can justifiably jump from civilian clothing into the Prime Minister's seat. The Prime Minister of Israel must be able to make decisions which are not only ideological. They must also be professional. As we have recently witnessed, the lack of ability so obvious in the persons of our present Defense Minister and Prime Minister costs lives, and could, G-d forbid, put the existence of the State of Israel in jeopardy.  Despite Feiglin's tremendous abilities, I personally do not believe that he has, as of yet, garnered the experience necessary in various fields, to allow him to successfully become Prime Minister at this time.
  2. It has been noted that he is popular within the Likud and that a campaign to enlist further Likud members from the right could bring about his election as chairman of the Likud. This, in turn, could bring about his election as Prime Minister. I believe that these ideas are inaccurate. As the last election proved, the chairman of the Likud cannot be guaranteed 1st or 2nd place in the Knesset. The Likud  came in tied for third.  Also, memories prove to be too short.  Only a few years ago Labor nominated Amram Mitzne as chairman of the Labor Party. As a result Labor plummeted and a party like Shinui was able to skyrocket. Traditional Labor voters could not vote for Mitzne due to his left-wing extremism, and, as a result, voted for Shinui. In other words, that fact that Feiglin might be able to capture the Likud leadership does not, in any way, guarantee support for him for Prime Minister. To the contrary, I personally believe that were he to be elected chairman of the Likud, the result could have disastrous implications. Traditional Likud voters would likely turn left (as we witnessed only a few months ago, with the huge swing to Kadima) thereby again bringing to power, strong, left-wing parties.
  3. One must also take into account the present form of Israeli elections, i.e. voting for a list, and not for an individual prime minister. As long as the present system exists, how can we vote for a list containing people who favored, or at the least, did not actively reject the expulsion from Gush Katif, the abandonment of over 80% of Hebron and the very Oslo agreements which triggered the current talks of further expulsion of tens of thousands of Jews and continued abandonment of Eretz Yisrael. Even if Moshe Feiglin stands at the head of the list, what does he have behind him?


The question then asked is, what is the alternative, and as I stated my article, there aren't too many favorable alternatives. Israel has a serious leadership problem. There are ideal solutions, which, unfortunately, do not yet seem to yet be achievable. Until there is a major change, we have no choice but to work within the frameworks which currently exist, as faulty as they are. At the same time, we must attempt to bring about the changes necessary to overcome these difficulties. However, shooting ourselves in the foot is not going to bring about the salvation we so yearn. For these reasons, I did not present Moshe Feiglin as an alternative candidate for Prime Minister in the commentary: "The bullet's in the chamber.'


With blessings from Hebron for a Happy, healthy New Year,

David Wilder


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