The Powerful Hand: By Moshe Feiglin
5 Sivan, 5759
May 20, ‘99
On Election Day, I was reminded of the prophet Jonah. We find the sailors, full of good will, frantically attempting to steer the ship to safe waters. In the meantime, Jonah, who understands that the ship’s direction is being determined in a completely different place, compensates for lost sleep in the ship’s hold. This article is dedicated to all the good-hearted soldiers, who think that their fate is determined on Election Day.
We can compare the forces currently ruling Israel to a powerful hand, gripping the state by its throat. The hand accomplishes this with its five fingers, the elites.
The strongest digit is the thumb. The thumb represents the cultural elite – publishers, writers, playwrights, actors, other artists and above all – the media. The cultural finger is not only the strongest, but it is also the glue that binds all the other forces together. Just like the thumb of a hand, it can freely move between the other fingers. The thumb gives the other fingers the support they need to grasp whatever they want. The cultural elite is our “thought police.” It determines what we read (try to buy a copy of “The Rabin File” by Uri Milstein in Israel’s bookstores), what we watch on television, what is true and what is false, what is legitimate and what is fanatical, what constitutes incitement and what is considered freedom of speech.
The index finger is next. This finger represents the security elite that controls the army, the police and the Internal Security forces. The typical mediocrity of this elite is irrelevant. In Israel, it makes no difference who you are, or even what you did for the country. What really matters is how high you managed to climb in the security hierarchy. This elite determines who is investigated, who is arrested, whose phones to bug, who must be beaten at demonstrations and who must be ignored.
The middle finger is the tallest of all. This finger represents the judicial elite and the State prosecution. It is almost as strong as the thumb, but much more lofty and esteemed. The judicial elite scorns the will of the people, as expressed by their elected representatives. It imposes its own personal values on the people through a pseudo-parliament that overrules the elected parliament. If anyone dares criticize this elite, the thumb will move to crush him by portraying him as a threat to the rule of law. Unruly Knesset members are quickly brought to the attention of the State Attorney (again, with the encouragement of the cultural elite and its pre-trial verdict). When these hapless politicians opt for self-preservation, they quickly adopt the mind-set of the elite. A prime case in point is Tzachi Hanegbi, once a lion of the Right, who has become a marionette, strung up from his second finger.
The third finger is the economic elite. Supplying the fuel that turns the wheels of all the other elites, it, in turn, is empowered by them. A retired army general who toed the line when he was still part of the security elite, will be rewarded with an appealing job, the gift of the economic elite. This is but a small example of the symbiosis that exists among the elites.
Finally, we reach the pinky. This is the smallest and weakest of all the fingers – the political elite. It has little power. When it opposes the other elites, it will always lose. In order to survive, the politicians are totally dependant on the “good will” of the stronger elites. No politician has ever seriously dared to use the power that the pinky received from the People to attempt to combat these forces.
When the Left takes power, it quickly implements the ideology of Peace Now, not because that is what the public dictated, but essentially because it is what the elites dictate. When the Right takes power, it also hurries to implement the ideology of Peace Now… for the same reason.
So, for all the sailors who thought that the elections were an opportunity to take hold of the ship’s helm, and for all the frustrated voters, it is important that you know: The illusion that you have been fed – the fantasy that you can have influence – really boils down to just one choice – the right to choose the pinky.