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.


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  1. Just send the Palestinians to Madagascar. That plan worked so well last time.

  2. Huh. I didn’t know Cytotoxic was an Israeli lawmaker.

    1. Cytotoxic makes this guy look like a moderate.

      1. Agreed. I didn’t hear this guy declaring people non-persons.

        1. You didn’t hear me do that either.

      2. Meh. His plan is too complex for me. I would just bomb and invade the Gaza Strip until they stop fighting. No camps, no restraint.

  3. After a few years of constant bombardment, we might feel the same. Luckily this is unworkable.

    1. 9/11 was enough to turn the most peace-loving New York sophisticate into a pants-shitting cold warrior. If America was similarly situated, the analogue of Gaza and the West Bank would be a parking lot.

  4. If he really is an Andrew Jackson, I expect he will be challenging Jesse to a duel.

  5. You are being very insulting to the Cherokee, Jesse.

    1. …How?

      1. The implied comparison.

  6. Loyalty oaths; is there anything they cannot fix?

    1. Well, I did really want to kill you and all your people, but…that oath, man. That’s some powerful stuff.

  7. So he’s going on the next round of 20 Shekel notes?

  8. Forced relocation under threat of violence and death…hmm…seems to me that somebody tried that with a group of people. If only I could remember the particulars.

    1. It’s a time-honored tradition dating back to ancient times, much like slavery and autocracy.

      1. Like a boot crushing a human face.

        1. Boots have been more like sandals for most of their history.

    2. Don’t forget about giving them all a color-coded identification badge.

  9. Well now OK that makes a lot of sense dude.

  10. If he’s Andrew Jackson, at least he vetoed the bank bill, so he can’t be all bad.

    /Ron Paul

  11. The Spanish General Weyler did something like this to suppress a Cuban rebellion against Spain in the 19th century. It was “working” until humanitarian objections got him to stop.

  12. You know who else forcibly relocated people?

    1. The Babylonians?

    2. The Cro Magnon?

    3. Me when my wife is taking up the whole damn bed.

    4. The Americans?

    5. Err, my hospital did when we opened a new wing. Does that count?

    6. You know who else forcibly relocated people?

      The Jews, but it was a mix of “relocating” and mass genocide of the Canaanites.

      Or the Christians who both slaughtered and evicted Jews from Jerusalem, during the Crusades. It was Muslims who allowed Jews back in, for which Muslims were rewarded with … Oh, wait.

  13. The analogy is a little insulting in light of the fact that the Cherokee were especially remarkable for their peacefulness and assimilation with Europeans. Their removal and relocation didn’t take place after half a century of guerrilla skirmishing. If anything this proposal is more analogous to American internment of Japanese during WWII, except in our benevolence we warehoused them in shanty camps rather than shipping off to another country with a pocket full of cash.

  14. Feiglin! Feiglin! Feiglin!


  15. There are certainly some significant issues with this plan, (second class citizenship is possibly highest on the list, but I’m not going to be declarative about that) but living in the desert Southwest, and having actually been to various Native reservations, I have a certain amount of sympathy for the idea of not wedging the “Palestinian” population all in one concentrated area, but rather incorporating them into the populace at large.

    And frankly, it would be a lot better than what’s happened to a lot of other people who have lost war after war after war. (Seriously, until the state of Israel came along, the people from that part of the world have been getting their asses handed to them since the Phahroahs were in power. Or, I suppose, you could say that the creation of the state of Israel is the most recent in a long line of ass-handings.)

    1. Hard to believe that it was the Muslims who allowed the Jews back into Jerusalem, when the Christians had both slaughtered and evicted Jews from Jerusalem. (unholy Crusades) Gives a whole new meaning to betrayal.

  16. Once the first rocket hit Israeli soil from Gaza this kind of thinking was in the cards.

    And every following rocket, tunnel, and atrocity continues to whittle down the objections.

    1. (laughing) Yeah, Israeli civilians killed …. 3
      ….Gaza 1700

      Gaza had been under military occupation and/or a military blockade since 1993.
      I’d hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but a blockade is an act of war.

  17. Start a war, suffer the consequences. Nobody moaned and groaned when the Germans got tossed out of East Prussia and thrown back behind the Oder-Neisse line, did they? Boo-freakin’-hoo.

    1. Nobody moaned and groaned when the planes hit the twin towers and the US finally got its’ comeuppance. Doesn’t mean it was right.

    2. I trust you’re being sarcastic. There is a large body of commentary, such as the extensive scholarship by Cuban-American international lawyer Alfred de Zayas, characterizing the expulsion of the Eastern European Germans as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Even Czech President Vaclav Havel apologized for the expulsion, which he admitted were a great injustice. Not everybody thinks ethnic cleansing is OK if the right people do it.

  18. He just wants to treat this as a war, and fight the war to win.

    You can disagree that its a war, or disagree that Israel should try to win the war. If you don’t disagree with either of those premises, its hard to argue with what he is proposing.

    1. It’s hard to argue with the final solution if you view getting rid of all the Jews as a worthy goal.

      That guy is literally proposing getting rid of all the Palestinians in Gaza.

  19. It is good instead of these antisemitic commies such as Hussein Ibish, “Reason Magazine” features Moshe Feiglin. He should be prime minister instead of that appeaser, Bibi. Kick out the Arabs according to the principles laid down by Rav Meir Kahane, zt”l.

    Oid Kahane Chai! (Rabbi Kahane Lives) They Must Go by Rabbi Meir Kahane

  20. It’s none of our business. If the Palestinians want to provoke this sort of response – it’s on them.

    These people were fighting long before I was born. They’ll choose to fight long after I’m dead. Let them. Let them kill each other off to the last person.

    I don’t think we should be involved on either side.

  21. Thanks, Jesse.

    It’s as though 21 years of military occupation and/or military blockades STILL aren’t enough for Israel. Let the war crime trials begin.

  22. He wants more liberty for his own people while giving the Gazans the Cherokee treatment.

    Isn’t the entire point of Zionism to treat Palestinian Arabs the way white Americans treated the American Indians?

    1. Isn’t the entire point of Zionism to treat Palestinian Arabs the way white Americans treated the American Indians?

      I won’t address Zionism, but tracking civilian deaths has been devastating.

      Israel has shelled 9 designated UN sanctuaries. A shelling last week sparked worldwide outrage. 20 Gazans were killed, standing in food linea at a UN sanctuary. Our State Department denounced it as “totally disgraceful.” The UN Secretary General called it “a moral outrage and a criminal act ? a gross violation of international humanitarian law.” Israel said there were mortars “in the vicinity.”

      A few days earlier, another attack killed 16, also in a UN sanctuary. Israel’s “explanation” is that Palestinian fighters were operating within 200 yards earlier that morning.

      Another shelter had 26 dead. Israel acknowledged that a mortar shell had landed in the courtyard, but it was empty! They can’t get within 200 yards of a target, but they know a walled courtyard had nobody in it. The head of UN’s aid agency for Palestinian refugees expressed “anger and indignation” at Israeli forces firing toward a U.N. building, after being told 17 times, including 2 hours before the attack, that it was filled with civilians.

      I’m done. Make your own judgment. After two entire days, watching and reading all I could ? to me these are war crimes. Worldwide rage is not anti-Semitism. It’s their own lame excuses.

  23. To make this analogy valid, two facts, one about America and one about Israel, would have to be markedly different from the way they really are. Without these changes there’s simply no parallel between the two situations.

    1) The Native Americans of Jackson’s time would need to have been bossed by a nasty, warlike group (whether or not you call it a government) which had sworn to wipe every last British-American off the face of the earth, and which used bombs, guns, and similar methods to repeatedly attack us without provocation. [Hamas’ charter says 12 times over that they intend to kill every last Jew anywhere. As far as I’m concerned that makes them, literally, Nazis. Obviously I am not suggesting that every person living in Gaza voluntarily supports Hamas.]

    2) The Jews in Israel would have to be Johnny-come-latelies, invaders, colonists, as we were in America. In fact the Jews have been in Israel since Moses’ time, and everybody knows it.

    Because of these major non-parallel facts, this article is idiocy and as far as I’m concerned, Feiglin is absolutely right. If I lived in Israel I would vote for him.

  24. In fact the Jews have been in Israel since Moses’ time, and everybody knows it.

    Does that excuse their military occupation and/or blockade of Gaza since 1993? A blockade is an act of war, right?
    Living someplace is not the same as ruling it — for 300 years, 2700 years ago.
    There is a bit more to the story. Like, the Jews first obtained their “Homeland” by committing mass genocide of the Canaanites.
    Later, a civil war left two rival Jewish kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Israel was invaded by the Assyrians, and Judah refused to help their fellow Jews. Some speculate that Judah and Assyria conspired against Israel. So the Jews won their land by genocide, and lost it through their own internal dissension.
    Still later, Christians both killed and evicted Jews from Jerusalem (Crusades). It was Muslims who allowed the Jews to return to the Holy City. The Jews, in gratitude to the Muslims …Oh, wait ..
    Let’s compare. What if the UN “partitioned” our Southwest and gave it back to Mexico? Many might say that Mexico has a stronger moral claim to our Southweast than Israel has to its current land, since Mexico never destroyed an entire civilization.
    Skip to today. Israel is the aggressor, definition (blockade) We hear, almost daily, of the constant missile barrage from Gaza. In the first month of hostilities, Israel’s civilian death toll has skyrocketed to … three. Versus 1600 Gazans.

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