Friday, April 05, 2019

  • Friday, April 05, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Moshe Feiglin's Zehut party, when it is mentioned in the media at all, is usually described as a quirky "ultranationalist" party that supports annexing the West Bank although it also supports legalization of marijuana.

However, polls show that it may get as many as 5-8 Knesset seats. (8 is the highest I've seen and that poll was released yesterday.) People are realizing that Feiglin very well may emerge as the kingmaker as long as the top two parties remain close in the polls.

As is often the case, the Israeli electorate is looking beyond the newspaper sound bites about  Zehut and finding a very interesting libertarian platform, written by a combination of religious and secular Israelis, that includes concepts that some far-Left voters would find appealing compared to the mainstream parties.

Here are some of the parts of the Zehut platform that, agree with them or not, are much more liberal than the Israeli mainstream has been for years and which Meretz voters would be happy with:

Ending the rabbinic monopoly on marriages and allowing same sex marriages:
Zehut believes that the state should not determine what marriage is, who is married and who is not. These decisions belong to the society and community to which the person belongs. Zehut will cancel the marriage registration presently employed. Each couple will be able to marry as they wish, in the type of ceremony they choose and in a manner that suits them.
Termination of administrative detentions for Arabs:
Zehut opposes police use of administrative detention, which is a corrupting force that enables the state to circumvent legal mechanisms and deny the citizen’s freedom, and to hold him in prison for long periods of time without evidence or trial. This is a serious violation of the detainees’ rights.
Allowing non-violent Arab demonstrations:
In the rest of the world’s democratic states, nonviolent civil disobedience is seen as a legitimate and important tool for preserving democracy. Israel, however, has developed a policy of aggressive resistance by the regime to any form of protest, without distinguishing between violent protest and nonviolent protest. Zehut demands a policy that distinguishes between the two kinds of protests and instructs the police not to resort to violence when it comes to nonviolent resistance.
Ending American aid to Israel:

Zehut does not see American aid to the State of Israel as a cardinal guarantee of its security, never to be relinquished. The price of this “gift” is too high. In terms of security, receiving aid creates Israeli dependence on America, which then receives legitimacy to intervene in Israeli security matters. A foreign element that regularly interferes in Israel’s decisions and prevents the freedom of military action is a serious blow to Israel’s security.
Offering all Arabs in the territories a choice of whether they want to become citizens or permanent residents, ending "apartheid" as bizarrely defined by the Israel haters:
Non-Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria will be offered three options:
1.  Assistance in immigration: The state will enable interested residents to sell their property, and will help them emigrate to the destination of their choice.
2.  Residency: Those who wish to remain and declare their allegiance openly will receive the status of permanent residents in the Jewish state. All their human and property rights shall be preserved in the same manner as permanent residents of other Western countries (as the United States does with the inhabitants of Samoa, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and Britain with the Cypriots remaining under its control).
3. Citizenship: Those who wish to be loyal citizens and serve in the army (such as the Druze, for example) will be able to receive full citizenship after a long and thorough examination track.
No selling arms to regimes that violate human rights:
The State of Israel must be a moral role model for the rest of the nations. According to this view, Israel will continue to develop many ties with foreign countries but will not compromise on moral principles. For example, the State of Israel will stop selling arms and military knowledge to regimes that commit crimes against humanity and violate human rights.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that Zehut is only liberal. It is very nationalist, very libertarian and very interested in improving the Jewish character of the state. But many Israelis are sick and tired of the status quo and Zehut offers a fairly consistent vision that can allow Israelis to feel pride in their state and in their heritage without compromising on security or morality.





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