Opinion: We Have Forgotten How to Remember?


feig[By Moshe Feiglin]

It is not easy to write the following words. After all, the pain is the same pain. Isn’t a person murdered in a terror attack part of those who have fallen for the rebirth of Israel? Yes, the pain is the same pain. But those who have fallen in battle deserve special respect; the parents of the fallen soldier deserve to feel special pride – a pride that supersedes the pride felt by the families of victims of terror.

Israel’s Memorial Day does not have to be a day of mourning. Memorial Day is the day that we should honor those who have sacrificed their lives for us. It is a day that we should salute them, internalize their legacy, lower our heads and thank their families. It is a day of salute – not another Holocaust Day.

Unfortunately, Memorial Day has become a day of personal mourning and nothing more; the purpose for which these soldiers died has lost its meaning for us. After all, the High Court has already decided that the Nakba (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’) can also be observed on Israel’s Independence Day. In other words, everything is virtual: Independence Day, Nakba – nothing is real. All that is left is the pain.

Everything has become confused. ‘Victory’ has become a dirty word. We do not claim to represent the truth or justice, so there is nothing to really fight for. This makes victory just another form of barbarity. The only justice that we are willing to adopt is the justice of the Western world: the justice of the victim.

Don’t even begin to think about a military y parade on Independence Day. “The only procession that our present day IDF Chief of Staff can lead is the procession from Auschwitz to Birkenau,” wrote Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord. How sadly right he is. All the millions being spent here in the attempt to inject happiness into Independence Day will not bring joy to the day that has lost all meaning.

“The fallen will never return.” So what difference does it make how they fell and for what purpose? Memorial Day, bereft of its meaning, ultimately serves as a day for denial of memory. For if we remove the personal suffering from its true national context, then the personal suffering itself becomes a personal point, quickly forgotten by the general public. This is not a simple question of semantics. This issue has operational significance.

Our sons are being sent to run through the alleys of Gaza and die for nothing. The military plan currently being endorsed by Haaretz and touted by an array of politicians from both Right and Left is to conquer Gaza from the Hamas and give it to Abu Mazen. What is the purpose? “First we will take over Gaza,” explained a rightist MK to me. “Afterwards, we will see…” By the way, the same MK supported the expulsion from Gaza, euphemistically called “The Disengagement”.

What do they care? We leave Gaza, we return to Gaza – the price that we pay has no meaning in an era in which there is no real remembrance. They lightheartedly send our soldiers to be killed capturing the same released terrorists that their friends died capturing last time. The lives of our soldiers have become very cheap in the era in which remembrance has lost its meaning.

Translated from the Hebrew article on NRG

(by Moshe Feiglin – YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Does anyone know when Yom HaZikaron began to include the victims of terror?
    Truly, we should remember them, as well, but perhaps it is out of place on this day as former MK Feiglin suggests.

  2. MK Moshe Feiglin’s Likud resignation speech at the Jerusalem Convention Hall Conference

    Published: January 5th, 2015

    Dear Friends,

    Before anything else, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank those of you who are here tonight, and those who could not get here in the freezing cold. I thank the tens of thousands of volunteers and supporters who have been with me for years.

    All of you, throughout this long journey that began twenty years ago with the establishment of Zo Artzeinu, continued with Manhigut Yehudit, registration for the Likud and the challenge of leadership –have changed the face of Israeli society and Israeli politics.

    We cannot even begin to imagine the State of Israel without you. You changed the face of the ruling party and in a dialectic process, you brought about a major revolution in the Religious Zionist party. You are responsible for the way the Likud looks today and for the Jewish Home phenomenon, as well. “It’s all because of you.”

    All these important achievements, however, are just stepping stones. The most important challenge and achievement is still before us. We must remember at all times that while we made changes here and there and while we enjoyed major accomplishments – one fact remains:

    Only here, in this hall, are the political people who hold the keys to dealing with the challenges facing Israel today.

    There is no leadership in Israel – except for the people sitting here – that knows how and is capable of dealing with the rock thrown in Taibeh, the knife in Jerusalem, the missile from Gaza and the nuclear bomb in Iran.

    There is no leadership in Israel – except for the people sitting here – that knows how and is capable of transforming the State of Israel into a truly Jewish state of liberty; a state of liberty that does not degenerate into a state of all its citizens and Zuabis.

    There is no leadership in Israel – except for the liberty-people sitting here – that knows how and is capable of lowering the costs of housing and food.

    There is no political leadership in Israel – except for the people sitting here – that has not been consumed by the peace industry that was built here, becoming subservient to the Oslo mentality and language.

    No other leadership talks about One State for One Nation in One Land.

    There is no leadership in Israel – except for the people here – that is truly democratic; that knows how and is capable of establishing true liberty, both personal and national, in Israel. Liberty that comes from Judaism and does not seek to replace it.

    Liberty that comes from within our Jewish identity and doesn’t seek to erase it.

    Liberty that emanates from the deep understanding that we are all the children of our Father, our King; servants to the Creator of the world alone.

    This fetus, which holds the keys to the future of the State of Israel in its hands, was born from the struggle of Zo Artzeinu against the Oslo Accords.

    It developed ideologically in Manhigut Yehudit.

    And like the Nation of Israel that grew out of the crucible of Egypt, our fetus grew politically within the womb of the Likud.

    Many times I have thought that the time had come to emerge from the womb and be born. But I hoped that the Likud would bring us directly to the premiership. Slowly, I understood that it apparently is incapable of doing so.

    Like every living thing, a new birth is necessary here; a period of independent maturation from which will grow, soon, with G-d’s help, faith-based leadership; leadership of liberty for the Nation of Israel.

    Many people are angry at the Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu. It may be difficult for you to integrate this, but I am not angry at all. On the contrary: I love my new Likud friends and I highly regard Netanyahu and his family.

    I am not angry at PM Netanyahu.

    True, he changed the rules again in the middle of the game.

    True, he is not really democratic.

    True, he executed a perfectly planned political take-down against me.

    True, he also had the observers removed from the ballot counting and who knows what went on there afterwards…

    But I am really not angry at Netanyahu.

    This fetus, Manhigut Yehudit, which is the only political hope for Israel, is already in its tenth month. Dr. Netanyahu simply induced the labor.

    He did it professionally and effectively and I send him my best wishes. I truly do.

    Now, the young child will grow independently and with G-d’s help, sooner than we may think, will lead our nation to its destiny.

    Let us quickly review the history of this special group:

    It all began with the Oslo Accords. You knew exactly where Netanyahu’s hug for Arafat, which turned all of us – Right and Left – into robbers in our own Land, would lead. That hug gave our enemies the most important weapon of all: Justice.

    Zo Artzeinu embarked on a determined struggle against the Oslo catastrophe, exemplifying the meaning of individual liberty, drawing the borders of obedience and highlighting the fact that the State belongs to the People and not vice versa.

    In the election of 1996 we went all out for Binyamin Netanyahu and against all odds, he won the premiership from Shimon Peres. But it didn’t take long for Netanyahu to hug Arafat, giving the Oslo Accords the legitimacy of the National Camp.

    The entire country, both Right and Left, began to talk the Oslo talk.

    The Right also got used to the Oslo paradigm, paying lip service to our ideals with the proposal to annex the territory in Area C in 40 years from now…

    The horrifying result was not far behind.

    Suicide bombings in all of Israel’s cities.

    Buses blowing up.

    Tractors running over people and cars.

    Massacre in a synagogue.

    And worst of all, the loss of the legitimacy for the existence of our State, which came on the heels of the loss of justice.

    The building freeze in Judea and Samaria sent the price of housing on an upward trajectory and the sum expense of security and containment of the Oslo reality has reached one trillion shekels.

    Nevertheless, until this very day, despite the fact that everyone understands that Oslo was a horrible mistake, all the parties of the National Camp – except for the Zo Artzeinu group – have remained captive to the language and erroneous assumptions of Oslo.

    Everybody talks about:

    ‘The Palestinian nation’,

    Two states,

    Terrorist release,

    And they have for all practical purposes surrendered the Temple Mount and the heart of Jerusalem.

    Yes, both the Likud and the Jewish Home opposed the bill that would have required the agreement of 80 MKs in order to conduct negotiations on Jerusalem. “We are already conducting those negotiations,” Tzippy Livni admitted from the Knesset podium.

    Only one MK from the Coalition voted in favor of the bill: the same MK that came from within this group and did not become a servant to the Oslo mentality. Only you have remained outside the servitude. Only you have remained free in order to once again lead our Nation to its destiny!

    After the Likud under Netanyahu’s leadership adopted Arafat and the Oslo Accords, we understood that the solution for the crisis was not merely to exchange a leftist government with a rightist government. Israel needs leadership with deeper foundations than the superficial differentiation between Right and Left. Am Yisrael needs faith-based leadership.

    From that moment and until this very day, we are careful to remain focused on our only goal:

    Faith based leadership for Israel.

    We then embarked on a long process of clarification.

    How is a modern Jewish liberty-state conducted?

    Economy? Education? Security? Health? Foreign Affairs?

    How does it relate to the convert, to the orphan, to the widow, to the elderly?

    Thousands of articles and a number of books were written.

    We also searched for ways to actualize the idea.

    At the beginning, the Likud, which had enslaved itself to Oslo, did not occur to us at all. But the Likud had a very positive core of nationalism open to every Israeli. No less important, the Likud was the ruling tool of the National Camp. Only from within it was it possible to develop the leadership mentality of the faith-based public.

    Today, after 15 years, that leadership mentality is alive and kicking. On the other side of the coin, there are no other ruling parties of other Camps.

    Let us not forget: Only one Knesset mandate for Lapid instead of Likud in the previous elections would have made him the prime minister. Tomorrow, we may find Kachlon in that illustrious position.

    The Likud has become an aging party; the average age of its [paying] members is above 60. Like the other parties, it is completely based on the side of the problem. It does not have the mental agility to truly contain the necessary change and to go over to the side of the solution that exists within it.