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ISIS Will Trigger a Revolution – But it Won’t be Islamic: By Aviv Ben Menachem

For years, the average Israeli has been afraid of being “Jewish”. He has been afraid to identify with values that seemed antiquated and irrelevant to the 21st century. He feared being unique and different and to lose the pseudo-cosmopolitan, Western identity that he had adopted.

But now, everything is unraveling – and quickly. The Islamic world – and first and foremost, the ISIS – is in the throes of an Islamic revolution that the world has not seen since the days of Muhammad, no less. It is extreme, savage and dark – but genuine and faithful to its source.

Simultaneously, the dam restraining Israel’s connection to its Jewish identity has burst open, as well. The political figure leading this change is MK Moshe Feiglin. Since his election to the Knesset, the person who had been portrayed as the extremist, dark and scary Jew has managed to refute existing stigmas and prove that Judaism is the source of identity, meaning and liberty for every Israeli. With his stand on personal liberty (medical marijuana, determined opposition to religious coercion); by heralding the Jewish-moral message to the world (demanding that China desists from organ harvesting of political prisoners); by connecting to the source of Jewish destiny ( the Temple Mount and Holy Temple); with his true and just solution for the IDF conscription debate (professional volunteer army); and his persistent adherence to Israel’s right to the entire Land of Israel (annexation of Judea, Samaria and yes – Gaza) Feiglin is engendering a tectonic change in Israeli consciousness. The majority no longer fears him and his doctrine; many keenly anticipate a Jewish political renaissance.

But presenting the average Israeli with the positive benefits of the renascent Jewish message is not enough to spark a revolution. Most people will not do away with the status-quo government because of an alternative – as attractive and interesting as it may be. We can still live reasonably well, goes the Israeli mantra. We have an Iron Dome and a solution for the terror tunnels. We’ll give them a bit of a harbor, some salaries, free electricity – and we’ll have quiet.

And so, the dialectic generated by the rise of the ISIS is positive. The ISIS Middle-East reality will ultimately force the Israeli to re-chart his course. Because when the Arab returns to his roots and removes his mask, the Israeli is forced to shed his counterfeit Western identity and return to his original, new-old identity.

The ISIS phenomenon is unfolding at breakneck speed. The Arabs are no longer playing the same old game. Israel can no longer expect to cynically buy Arab quiet with money/land/technology; No more diplomatic/political fantasies produced by hypocritical Western mediators. Instead, Israel will have to face the truth and go for broke: justice vs. justice, destiny vs. destiny, dream vs. dream, faith vs. faith.

In order to triumph and live – and not to lose and perish – the Israeli will have to choose his Jewish identity. There is no other choice.

Aviv Ben-Menachem is a Manhigut Yehudit activist.


One Response so far.

  1. levbaruch says:

    Julian Rosenman · Professor of Radation Oncology at University of North Carolina
    “In order to triumph and live – and not to lose and perish – the Israeli will have to choose his Jewish identity…”

    What in the world does this mean? Very little of this article makes sense. Are Israelis supposed to act like ISIS except with a Jewish identity? Israelis have chosen their identity, and have done so long ago. The author just doesn’t seem to like it. Well, that is his right in a free society.
    Reply · Like · Unfollow Post · 11 hours ago

    Aryeh Lev Baruch · Wesleyan University/ Harvard Public Health
    Prof Rosenman sir: there is a difference between Israeli (an identity dating from 1948 that strives to be a democratic nation like other nations) and Jewish (an identity dating from 3327 years ago at the giving of Torah at Mt. Sinai that recognizes G-d’s ‘Chosen’ were always destined [not b/c we’re better, but for more responsibility] to be a nation apart from other nations). Democracy is a Greek concept & an excuse for unbounded freedoms; more Jewish is a benevolent monarchy based on authentic Torah values. Moshe Feiglin says it is time for the State of Israel to become a truly Jewish State. [Peel the onion at JewishIsrael.org for his incredibly well-thought through perspective.]
    Reply · Unlike · 2 · about an hour ago

    Aryeh Lev Baruch · Wesleyan University/ Harvard Public Health
    Prof Rosenman, cont: After all, the authentic claim we have to Eretz Yisrael (in addition to archeological findings) is based firmly in our holy Torah. So this article, as I see it, is coming to say that as ISIS is seeking to wreak havoc across the globe – with stated intentions including democratic societies – it is time for the sake of Israeli & Jewish survival to wake up to our true G-d-given purpose on this planet. Ours is to stand & live [& die, G-d forbid, if necessary] for ethical monotheism – the belief in one G-d &, unlike ISIS where the end justifies any means, knowledge that there is a right & a wrong in this world, [that this is not the only world], & that it is His People’s role to exercise & model the truths of G-d’s expectations for the proper relationships between man & man & between man & G-d in this world.
    Reply · Unlike · 2 · about an hour ago

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