I ask that Netanyahu do NOTHING to protect us; just let us protect ourselves

2 people killed today. More stabbing attacks in Ra’anana and Jerusalem. I am not joining in on calling for the Israeli government to “do something”. I do not want the government to “do something”. I do not want to impose closures, or bomb Gaza, or invade Arab cities or homes or anything. I want the government to do NOTHING. Not just any nothing, a very particular kind of nothing. Here is a list of six things of NOTHING that I want the government to do in response to this wave of murder:

  1. I want the Israeli government to do NOTHING when they see me carrying a knife. I want them to leave me alone and let me protect myself. In Israel it is illegal to carry a knife under threat of 5 years in a government cage. People are lining up at Ricochet (a camping chain) to buy knives but since they are illegal to carry, Ricochet cannot sell them.
  2. I want the government to do NOTHING when the see someone carrying a gun without a license. People should be able to buy a handgun immediately, today, right now, without a waiting period, without registering with the government (registering with the store is fine if they require it privately), and without a government issued license (private license is fine).
  3. I want the government to do NOTHING when they see a group of Jews pummeling and knifing an attacker to death.
  4. I want the government to do NOTHING to return the body to where it came from.
  5. I want Netanyahu to get on TV and tell everyone he will do NOTHING. Not a thing, except allow all of us to protect ourselves however we see fit.
  6. I want all Knesset Members and Ministers to take a permanent vacation to the Caribbean to do NOTHING which I would personally fund raise for just to get them out of here so they don’t start another war for fun.

 

Forgive me for Disengaging

I have a confession to make. I supported the Disengagement. Not only did I support it, I supported it fully. I even called those advocating refusal of orders dangerous traitors, Zecharyah ben Avkilas types who would send away Emperor Nero’s sacrifice because of a flaw rather than sacrifice it and save Jerusalem.

It is critical that you understand exactly why I felt this way.

There are two distinct goals for the Jewish People at this point in history. One goal is to build a giant defensive wall and use it to protect the Jewish People as much as possible against the next wave of destruction, and in the meantime just wait for the Jewish People to be redeemed somehow. This is a negative goal, and as such, essentially has no direction. It’s just a beautifully paved road to nowhere. The other goal, which is mutually exclusive, is to actually redeem the Jewish People. This is the only possible positive goal, the only one that leads somewhere real.

The theory of Disengagement is that you hunker down, gather the Jews, make sure they’re all on our side of the fence, build a giant fortress wall, and hide behind it for as long as possible. This is the quintessential defensive tactic that looks appealing to those who have no positive goals other than defending the Jewish People.

This is why I supported the disengagement. Because in an environment where there simply was no leader who had any positive goals, it seemed like the best option for defense. I didn’t see any leader who was even trying to move along the process of redemption. So I wanted to separate populations, Jews and Arabs, put them on one side, put us on the other, build a giant wall – literally – and wait behind it for Moshiach. The Disengagement was one step towards that for me.

Oh how I cried when I realized what I had done. I cried not when the Disengagement happened. That was very painful – I remember watching it as it happened, but the tears of the people being torn from their homes could not inspire my own to flow. I cried, rather, when I saw that I had completely missed something essential. One night in late 2008 I read an article in the Jerusalem Post that some guy named Feiglin may get a Knesset seat on the Likud list and that Netanyahu was actually scared of this. I wondered what he could actually be scared of.

I got curious, and I went to Feiglin’s website. He had joined Likud because he actually wanted to lead the entire nation and declare victory on top of the Temple Mount. When I heard that, my soul, hardened by years of building defensive walls and buying time, began to melt. Feiglin wasn’t speaking to any Jewish sector at all, but to the entire Jewish nation. Something inside me cracked and I shed a tear. I understood. He wants to finish the process of Geulah. He has an actual positive goal.

Then the tears really came. I realized that what led me to support the bitter evil of the Disengagement was simply my desire to go on defense and just wait it out instead of move it forward. I cried because I understood I didn’t have to think that way anymore, ever again. I could move forward. That’s the Jewish concept of avoiding from evil and doing good. In order to avoid evil, you must do good, otherwise you get caught up in evil unwittingly, like I did. And those getting caught in the evil right now are all those stuck in the sectoral mentality.

Trying to unite the Religious Zionists is nothing but an insidious form of Disengagement. Less brutal, for sure, but insidious and wrong. Instead of disengaging from LAND and separating ARABS and Jews, those who even RECOGNIZE sectors are disengaging from the Jewish PEOPLE and separating JEWS and Jews.

You want to know why Religious Zionist parties keep shrinking? Because they’re boring. Because they lack any sort of positive goal. Because voters are tired of playing defense.

This is NOT a question of how we unite the Religious Zionists to build the next wall of defense. This is a question of what you think God really wants from the Jewish people. Does God want sector A to outvote sector B and then Moshiach comes? God wants us to simply buy enough time until His Divine egg timer goes off in the sky and it’s time for Moshiach to just show up by default? Is this just a silly game of chicken? Or does God want the Jews, all of us, to realize, together, as a nation, what the heck we’re doing here in Israel and why?

I believe God wants the second option. In order for us to realize what we’re doing here, we need a leader who speaks to every single Jew. If you’re in a sector, then talk and talk as much as you want about Jewish identity and any Jew out of your sector will simply ignore you, because you’ve disengaged yourself from them.

Manhigut Yehudit is not about defense, and it is not even about saving the settlements. Every Likud primary is about speaking to this stiff-necked people of ours, the Jewish People, who are confused and directionless, and telling them that we need to finish the process of Redemption and lead this world. No matter what the results are; whether Moshe Feiglin wins a victory or comes close or loses, one thing is absolutely certain. Every time he runs, Feiglin speaks, and Am Yisrael listens. Left and right, Dati Hiloni Haredi. EVERYONE hears him.

Would anyone care if Naftali Bennett came out supporting medical marijuana? No, because Bennett is disengaged from Am Yisrael. Nobody cares what he says. Just a fact. But when Moshe Feiglin supports medical marijuana, all of a sudden every station has to interview him immediately. That’s the nation listening.

Those in the “Jewish Home” – for the love of God, and I don’t use that phrase lightly, stop your disengagement from the Jewish People. Talk to them. All of them. You can help us talk to them. Join Likud and TALK to them. You may not win a seat, but for God’s sake they’ll hear you.

Moshe Feiglin will win because he’s the only one with a goal. Everything else is meaningless chatter about how best to do nothing. The path is not glorious. It is not easy. It is full of ridicule and naysayers. It is full of dirty political tricks that will drive you mad. But if you want to bring Jewish history to its climax, we need everyone in on it. You can all help.

Moshe Feiglin will keep speaking. You can either make his voice that much louder and be a part of Jewish history, or you can, yet again, go in Galut defensive mode, disengage from the rest of the Jews, and fight the next prime minister from your defensive wall of Knesset seats. And then watch it be torn down to dust.

How to shrink government in Israel step 1: Zero taxes for public employees

I was listening to a lecture by Murray Rothbard the other week about John Maynard Keynes the man. The lecture itself was fascinating, and revealed to me that Keynes referred to himself as an “immoralist” who lectured about the virtues of homosexuality over heterosexuality, actively preferring the former even though he was actually attracted to women. It became clear to me that this man was entirely backwards to the core, and now has the world addicted to the idea that in order to become rich, one has to go into debt.

But there was one thing that stood out that had little to do with Keynes in that lecture. That is, Murray made the offhand remark that public employees – meaning anyone receiving a government paycheck – should not pay any taxes. In fact, public employees are the ones that are living off of private sector tax money, and it makes no accounting sense to have them pay back into the very funds they are living off of.

Instead, public employee pay should simply be reduced by the percentage they would have had to pay in taxes had they been private sector workers. For example, let’s say a Knesset Member gets 20,000 shekels a month and pays 6,000 in withheld income tax, arnona, bitach leumi, and whatever else he pays. Instead, he should simply earn 14,000 shekels period.

What’s the difference? The difference is huge. The fact that public employees “pay taxes” so to speak blurs the line between private and public sectors – between who pays taxes and who consumes them. It makes people think that the tax eaters pay equally into the trough, when in fact that are simply consuming and vomiting back into it. If public employees – ALL of them – paid ZERO taxes – no bituach leumi, no income tax, no arnona (land and property taxes), nothing at all as all these taxes go to fund their salaries anyway, then it would become much clearer who is eating and who is producing. It would give Israel a much better idea of exactly how big their government is and how destructive. And people would start to wake up about what exactly they’re paying and to whom.

Special pay stubs should be made for all public employees that show ZERO withholding. These should be plastered all over the place. They would not be required to file a return at all. They would simply earn less. This means no doctor would pay any taxes, no state-employed Rabbi, no Knesset member, no government clerk, no judge, no police officer, no Shabak agent, not a single active duty soldier, the prime minister, the cabinet, their aids, no child day care employee, no school teacher, no public university professor, no histadrut labor union worker, garbage man, no public radio talk show host, no school administrator should pay a single shekel in taxes of any kind whatsoever from their tax-funded salaries.

They should not feel that they are contributing to the public tax burden, because in fact they are feeding off of it. Every penny of their salaries is tax money. They should understand that very well. And the people of Israel should understand very well just how much of their lives the state runs, how humongous their public sector is.

Only then will it start shrinking.

Israel to increase budget deficit; risk economy for buying votes

Today’s Israel Hayom Newspaper: Deficit Widening goes to Government for Vote.

Netanyahu, the fiscal conservative, has decided that it’s a good idea to spend even more money that Israel doesn’t have. Why? Because people want stuff without paying for it. See this clip below from the newspaper.

This is a poll of Israeli citizens. From top to bottom:

Haviv Banai (55): I am against raising taxes. It’s best if they take more money from the tycoons so we wouldn’t have to go into debt.

Eli Lavi (58): If the State needs more money, it’s better to raise taxes rather than widen the deficit.

Doctor David Yishai (57): The economic situation is good and we can relax a bit. We need widen the deficit and not raise taxes.

Doctor Eldad Berkowitz (48): We must not under any circumstances widen the deficit. Be we must not raise taxes either on those who are buckling under the pressure.

Sarah Keidan (56): We don’t need to widen the deficit, but we can raise taxes on the rich and high income earners.

Ra’anan Kahta (33): The State needs to honor its payments and we can only do that by widening the deficit or raising taxes. The treasury will need to find creative ways of getting more money into its coffers.

What’s astounding here is that nobody suggests that perhaps the government should just spend less money. It’s an option that doesn’t even exist according to everyone polled. You either raise taxes or go into debt. If the State says it needs money, then whatever – it needs money and we cannot dispute that.

What about halving the salaries of every Knesset Member? They earn what, 44,000 a month or something? They can’t survive on 22,000? how about every government employee has to pay for his own car and gasoline, just like I do, instead of the government paying for it. How about they pay for their own flights to cockamaymee events where they blow air at people? How about we eliminate the entire Shlav Bet army program from new immigrants where we waste time doing nothing for six months at 50,000 shekels a worthless soldier?

How about limiting the number of ministers in the government? How much do they make a month for doing nothing? Nobody here thinks of these things, because they are all government slaves.

Netanyahu is doing this now because he wants the people yelling in the streets for things from the government to shut up, so instead of cutting his salary, he’s endangering everybody’s income. What happens when you go too deep into debt? Ask Greece. They seem to be doing fine.

The gluttonous Israeli gov’t & the gluten-free subsidy

Every so often a flash of hope flickers past my eye and I think that maybe, just maybe in these times of global debt turmoil, the Israeli government is smart enough not to do too many idiotic things and get themselves in too much debt. And then I see stories like this one.

According to the proposal, the cost of gluten-free bread will be kept at a level that is never higher than that of standard bread. In addition, those who suffer from celiac disease will be reimbursed for up to NIS 500 per month per family for purchasing special food, and the income tax rates of companies that sell gluten-free food products will not go above 25 percent.

So now I have to pay for the gluten free bread of some guy with celiac who wants to eat a sponge. Beyond costing hundreds of millions of shekels a year, the program will:

  1. Waste every shekel that goes into it
  2. Disrupt market forces and the prices of other foods competing with the gluten free bread
  3. Raise the price of corn that goes into these gluten-free sponges
  4. Cause many many many more people who don’t even have celiac to be diagnosed with celiac just so they can get 500 shekels more a month from Uncle Shmuel
  5. Cause 20 more unintended consequences that the government will then have to regulate by force with committees who get government paychecks
  6. Be immoral, because I shouldn’t have to pay for the luxuries of a celiac, a luxury by the way that tastes like crap.

Before anyone objects to my heartlessness, I am also on a gluten free diet. Not because I am celiac, but because I subscribe to the Primal Blueprint diet and way of life. And I do not eat gluten-free bread either, because I do not eat corn. My food is much more expensive than someone’s who eats grains, and I’m not asking for other people to subsidize my shopping list.

It will be a long time coming before I will be able to convince anyone in this country that it is not the government’s role to take care of someone’s celiac, that it is immoral and unjewish to force someone to pay for someone else’s luxury. Israel is still a country deeply mired in Marxist ideology and is very statist.

I shiver to think that this is where our money is going while the finances of the entire western world are on fire.