Feiglin cited the 1967 Six Day War to exemplify what he meant: "When Israel liberated Jerusalem in 1967 from the Jordanians, they raised the Israeli flag over Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount). Two hours later, Moshe Dayan, the Israeli general, took it down. ... His problem was that he was afraid of the re-establishment of Beit HaMikdash (the Holy Temple). He was afraid that if the Israeli flag stayed over Har HaBait, in 100 or 200 years, all of a sudden, the Beit HaMikdash would be standing again."
But Feiglin, unlike Dayan, is unafraid of a renewed, vibrant Jewish identity. "I have a different dream," he said. "I want to move toward the goal of Beit HaMikdash. I may not see it in my lifetime, but if you have the correct goal, you have the correct identity, and if you have the correct identity, you can take the correct means and measures."
Feiglin feels that redefining Jewish identity is integral to building "not only a real Jewish state but also a free and democratic Jewish society in Israel." His clarion call for a fundamental redefinition of Jewish identity and the Jewish state intimidates many, including Sharon, who sees Feiglin as his chief political opponent. But Feiglin has what Sharon lacks: "that vision thing." While Sharon may be a masterful day-to-day politician, he lacks a long-term plan. Political machinations cannot overcome the simple fact that a weak-kneed Israel, an ashamed Israel, a self-loathing Israel is an Israel that cannot survive.
Feiglin recognizes that Israel's largest problem is not intractable external enemies but internal identity. And he seeks a solution not in complacency and appeasement but in that elite-scorned idea, national pride. "I'm calling for a complete revolution in Jewish identity," Feiglin stated. "We need to identify as Jews through the Torah (Bible), because you can't identify the enemy until you identify yourself. Once you know who you are, and once you know that what you are doing is justice, fighting the enemy becomes simple."
It is a lofty goal. Feiglin remains unwavering in his pursuit of it. As he once wrote, "The Jewish people deserves leadership capable of extricating it from these dire straits and realizing its mission -- putting the world to rights in the kingdom of the Almighty. It deserves leadership based on belief." And Feiglin deserves a chance to be that leader.
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