Who is Moshe Feiglin and his party?

While working as a security guard for tours I had taken a group from a Military prep school to do a tour of the Gush Etzion area and were given a tour by a leftist military tour guide.

Afterwards we were given a talk by Moshe Feiglin who spoke about how we should not apologize for surviving as a Jewish state and how the land of Israel is supposed to also include the entire area of Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

After his talk he got a large standing ovation from students who just a few hours before were speaking about how we are supposed to give back Judea and Samaria were talking about how we belong here.

Moshe Feiglin was born in Haifa and is descended from Russian immigrants who came to Israel in 1882.

He served in the IDF in the Engineering Corps, became an officer and fought during the first Lebanon war in 1982 and afterwards was in charge of a rope rappelling company in construction.

Feiglin got political in 1996 with the formation of the organization Manhigut Yehudit which was committed to putting Jewish values in schools and to stop teaching the Palestinian point of view on the establishment of the state of Israel.

Feiglin entered the Likud Party in 2005 in an attempt to change the party from within, however because he was so popular in the Likud primaries receiving 23.4% of the vote other political opponents worked to oust him.

After a petition submitted by Ophir Akunis after the 2008 Likud primaries Feiglin was demoted from 12th place to 36th place.

After having failed to achieve any kind of ministerial position in the government to change the Likud from the inside he made the decision to leave the party completely and form his own party Zehut.

Feiglin was banned from entering the United Kingdom because in March 2008 the Home Secretary said that he was a supporter of terrorism and that his arrival in the UK would lead to chaos and disorder.

Yet, the UK did not ban a Hezbollah member Ibrahim Mousawi who was welcomed into the country.

Perhaps the decision of the UK to ban him from entering must be that he was imprisoned for six months in 1997 when he organized the blocking of highways to protest the Oslo Accords.

Zehut which is the party Moshe Feiglin formed after finishing his time with Likud means identity in Hebrew is the newest party to take center stage.

In regards to the Government Zehut wants to make the government smaller by proposing a limited and efficient government structure in which only 11 ministers will serve, instead of the 29 serving today.

This is something I agree with because with the reduction of ministers serving in the government we will succeed in making the government a lot smaller and number of ministers there will be less bureaucracy.

The party wants rules of Shabbat that should be governed by individual communities instead of having the government decide it for people.

Even though I am a religious person I don’t want to force anyone to have to keep Shabbat against their will but I also want to live in a place where the laws of Shabbat are respected.

I did not leave America to see people violate the laws of Shabbat in Israel so I can stand behind on Feiglin on this one.

Zehut wants a voucher system in place for education so parents can be given vouchers valued at two thousand shekels effectively creating new schools who would compete with one another for these vouchers.

Zehut wants a gradual reduction of the state’s insurance services and their transfer to the free market which is something I can stand behind because it will significantly reduce the budget the government needs to keep funding something that if not cut off sooner will go bankrupt.

In health care, Zehut wants to promote the streamlining of existing hospitals through competition in the free market, with a commitment not to harm the current level of prices and services effectively making all hospitals private an allowing for competition and the possibility of bringing in Medical tourism.

I think is a great idea because doctors will make more money in this country and more people will want to enter the medical field which at the moment most Israelis do not want to be doctors since the time it take to be a doctors is time consuming and the pay is very little.

Zehut wants to cancel marriage registration which is something that I can not support because I like the way the Rabbinate runs marriages and prevents intermarriage and prevents mamzerim from marrying.

As a Jewish state it is important to be able to prevent people from violating Jewish law in terms of marriage since such a violation could lead to serious repercussions for the Creator of the universe.

The thing about Zehut I really like is their economic policies because they encourage a real liberal economic policy which is a great departure of the disastrous socialist economic policies that have harmed Israel since its very creation.

Every country that has a socialist based economy has always had a suffering population in poverty.

Israel was no exception that in 1984 Prime Minister Begin had to decide to move Israel into a more free based economy to receive civilian aid base on the condition from the Reagan administration.

Only in areas where the state is not involved directly from heavy taxation to regulation do companies actually prosper which is why countries like the United States and the UK have one of the most dynamic and prosperous economies in the world.

In Israel the very reason high-tech industry has experienced such a large amount of growth is because the Israeli government did not get involved in heavy taxation or regulation so the high-tech companies were able to grow normally.

Zehut’s willingness to cut down taxation and regulation will allow more businesses to prosper and allow them to be able to hire more people and even increase their employees wages.

Israel’s current taxes are incredibly burdensome that the little guys have to struggle every day to pay their taxes which hinders their ability to make a living and even prevents major international corporations like Walmart and Amazon from establishing themselves in Israel and providing more jobs to Israelis.
Zehut wants a flat tax system so matter how much someone earns they all citizens will pay the same amount of money regardless of their income which is completely fair to all parties involved and everyone pays their fair share of what they owe.
According to the Hoover Institution article  The Flat Tax at Work in Russia states, ” Let’s review Russia’s 13% flat tax since its implementation on January 1, 2001. In 2001, personal income tax (PIT) revenue totaled R255.5 billion, an increase of 46.7% in nominal rubles, or 25.2% in real rubles after adjusting for inflation of 21.5%. PIT revenue as a share of consolidated budget tax revenue rose from 12.1% in 2000 to 12.7% in 2001. Since economic growth of 5.1% in 2001 was lower than the post-Soviet record 10.0% growth in 2000, the rise in revenue cannot be attributed solely, or even largely, to growth in 2001… In the three years since the top rate of PIT was reduced from 30% to 13%, real flat tax revenue has risen by 79.7%. Russia’s budget is relatively healthy. Tax compliance has improved. And incentives to work, save, and invest remain strong” (https://www.hoover.org/research/flat-tax-work-russia-year-three).
After Russia introduced this flat tax other former Soviet countries also decided to take on a flat tax rate, if it were to be introduced into Israel at say six or ten percent not only would the government collect more money in taxes than previously done but, would also see the income of many people rise like what was seen in Russia.
Zehut wants to reduce corporate taxes for all companies because doing so will give an incentive for large corporations to establish themselves in Israel and provide more jobs for many Israelis.

Zehut will work to gradually eliminate customs and import quotas which will greatly reduce the amount of money people pay for products like yogurt or pudding that many leftist Israelis argue about how its cheaper in Germany.

Greater variety in products the quality of Israeli goods will improve and their prices will decrease drastically to be able to compete with foreign good that would me imported into Israel.

Feiglin wants to legalize Marijuana in Israel so that people will no longer be imprisoned and the police will not have to worry about locking people in jail for nonviolent offenses.

I can careless about weed in Israel, a lot of people use it anyways and as long as I do not smell it near me I could careless if people want to smoke a joint.

There is great potential in having the legalization of marijuana made in Israel with the creation of another industry that can make Tel Aviv the Amsterdam of the Middle East with many marijuana tourists.

“Zehut’s vision is to shorten universal compulsory service to basic training only. After the basic training period, anyone interested in continuing to serve in the professional army will be able to apply, and from among the candidates, the army will choose those who it really needs. Recruits will be paid an honorable salary based on the average wage in the economy. They will receive the most advanced training and equipment, an academic education, gain high social status by virtue of their contribution to the security of the state, and will enjoy good conditions” (Https://Zehut.org.il/).

This is something that I am against that Zehut wants to change the army into a professional army and lower the draft to just basic training.

The army is going to have to increase the budget to promote people to stay in the military spending millions of shekels on advertisement to meet quotas.

As a combat soldier who is a current reservist and my experience during active duty I can say there is a serious lack of combat soldiers which negatively impact the performance of a soldier’s duty.

This makes soldiers fatigue a lot more and cause danger for soldiers because after being on guard duty for eight or twelve hours straight their concentration is lost and all the sudden a terrorist comes and stabs or shoots a soldier because he is exhausted.

If this policy would be put into practice many people will just go through basic training and go straight to college which will negatively effect the readiness of the army since they will lack the experience of having gone through several war games and the practice of dealing with the Arab population in Judea and Samaria that the quality of the soldiers will be lowered and the number of soldiers in active service will greatly decrease.

This is incredibly dangerous with our enemies like Hezbollah who have support financially from Iran and have gained a lot of experience fighting ISIS their soldiers are more battle hardened than any Israeli soldier.

In the next war we are going to have three fronts including Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.

Following war will be devastating and deadly on the Israeli side, we need all the people we can get in the military to fight against our enemies who are not just crazy militias armed with AK-47s.

Our enemies today are professional armies with the capacity to kill us very effectively by shear numbers and combat experience we do not have.

Hezbollah has more missiles than NATO and could overwhelm Iron Dome by launching thousands of missiles a day that could cause a large about of  civilian casualties in the thousands.

Most people when confronted with the option of doing a very short service will do it because they will think about their future careers over the protection of the nation.

Should the army get better equipment and a higher salary for soldiers absolutely, but to decrease the amount of soldiers which is already extremely low is a terrible thing.

In order to win a war we need a large amount of people to be soldiers who are prepared to go to war and take over several hills.

Being outnumbered by the enemy leads to an automatic loss and air support is not going to help in the next war since Iran and Hezbollah have invested billions of dollars in anti-aircraft missiles.

Draft in Israel is what has kept Israel alive and safe since the establishment of the state of Israel, we are not like other countries because we are surrounded by enemies on every border of our country.

Feiglin has also a great idea to stop receiving financial aid in military aid from the United States which is in the benefit of Israel since the aid Israel receives negatively effects Israeli companies from selling our weapons abroad.

A few years ago Israel was going to sell the Tavor rifle to China and yet, the US stopped the sale since as a condition to the military aid Israel receives the US can veto any deal that goes against US interests.

A stop to US military aid will be a way for Israel to have more sovereignty of itself and avoid foreign manipulation in our political system like how the Obama administration tried to tamper with the Israeli elections in 2015.

Feiglin has a plan to get rid of the Oslo accords and annex the West Bank entirely by several stages as shown by their website:

” Stage One: The Oslo Accords will be canceled and the legal situation re-stored to its pre-Oslo status.

Stage two: The terrorists will be offered an honorable withdrawal, similar to the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon in 1982.

Stage Three: The IDF will take over the territory as it was able to do in Operation Defensive Shield, and the State of Israel will apply its full sovereignty over all parts of the country. No element except for the IDF, the Israel Police and authorized civilians (see above) will bear arms.

Stage Four: Non-Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria will be offered three options being a Resident status, assistance in immigration to other countries or citizenship after a long process”(http;//www.zehut,co.il) .

I am very tempted to vote for Zehut since I agree with a lot of their platforms especially economically and how they want to annex Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

If Feiglin is able to implement all of his economic policies Israel will be in a greater position financially and less people will want to leave to other countries to make a living.

Under the plan to undo Oslo and annex Judea and Samaria there will be less expenditure on the army to patrol and guard Judea and Samaria and there can be a greater emphasis on focusing on winning wars.

The serious problem I have with Feiglin is his plan to decrease the amount of soldiers in the army and only have people do basic training  and relying on others to join a professional army instead of a civilian army we have now will put us all in grave danger.

Zehut is a legitimately great party that has great potential to positively impact Israeli society and can help bring a new golden age to the country.

Works cited

Rabushka, Alvin. “The Flat Tax at Work in Russia: Year Three.” Hoover Institution, 24 Apr. 2004, www.hoover.org/research/flat-tax-work-russia-year-three.

 

“Zehut Platform.” Https://Zehut.org.il/, zehut.org.il/pdf/english_takzir.pdf.

About the Author
Shlomo was born in Florida and moved to Israel in 2012, he holds a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Political Science, served in the IDF as a combat soldier in the Netzach Yehuda battalion and is a current reservist in the Golani Brigade.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments