Civil Liberties

The Andrew Jackson of the Middle East

The ugly side of Moshe Feiglin


Yesterday, Reason published a profile of Moshe Feiglin, an Israeli politician whose views remind me of Andrew Jackson's: He wants more liberty for his own people while giving the Gazans the Cherokee treatment. The article includes a link to Feiglin's recent open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu but only quotes a few words from it; I thought I'd post a longer selection, just to underline how ugly it gets:

One state, one people, and a one-way ticket out of town.

What is required now is for Israel to internalize the fact that Oslo is finished: That this is our country—our country exclusively, including Gaza. There are no two states, and there are no two peoples. There is only one state for one people….

Israel must take the following action:

A. The IDF will designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be gathered, far from the built-up areas that are used for rocket launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined. Electricity and water supply to the formerly populated areas will be disconnected.

B. The formerly populated areas will be shelled with maximum fire power. The entire civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas, its means of communication and of logistics, will be destroyed entirely—down to their foundations.

C. The IDF will divide the Gaza Strip laterally and crosswise, significantly widen the roads, take control of commanding positions, and destroy nests of resistance—if any remain.

D. Israel will start to locate destination countries and immigration quotas for the refugees from Gaza. Those who wish to emigrate will be given a generous economic support package and will arrive at the receiving countries with significant economic capabilities.

E. Those who insist on staying, contingent on proof that they have no affiliation with Hamas, will be required to publicly sign a declaration of loyalty to Israel. They will then receive a blue ID card similar to that of the Arabs of East Jerusalem.

F. When the fighting will end, Israeli law will be extended to cover the entire Gaza Strip. The people expelled from Gush Katif [that is, the Israeli settlers removed in 2005] will be invited to return to their towns and villages and the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as Israeli tourist and commercial cities.

Feiglin has also rejected the idea that Israeli Arabs should be fully equal citizens and called for the government to use live bullets against Palestinian protesters.

When The New American, the John Birch magazine, interviewed Feiglin last year, he claimed that his worldview was "very similar to the libertarian concept." It may be similar where conscription, marijuana, marriage, and U.S. aid are concerned, but unfortunately Feiglin's opinions do not stop there. I have a big-tent vision of libertarianism, but that tent isn't big enough for ideas like forcing civilians into camps, holding them there indefinitely while "destination countries" are found, shelling the homes they left behind, and telling them that if they want to return they'll have to accept a second-class citizenship.