Editorial

Joints on the Temple Mount

Whoever yields to Feiglin's ridiculous dreams of liberty and cannabis for all will pay dearly when he is enslaved by an apartheid, halakha state whose capital is the Third Temple

FILE Photo: Moshe Feiglin during the Likud primaries in 2015.
Ilan Assayag

According to the polls of the past few weeks, Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party, which is identified with rebuilding the Temple and whose platform includes the legalization of recreational marijuana, is expected to pass the electoral threshold. Some polls gave it as many as seven Knesset seats. These flattering surveys have led some to dub the party “the surprise of the elections” and its leader a “rock star.” Some say it could tip the scales, meaning that Zehut could determine who will be Israel’s next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu or Benny Gantz.

Despite being an extreme-right party — that dreams of a state run in the spirit of Jewish law and supports the abrogation of the Oslo Accords, full annexation of the occupied territories, encouraging the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians and transferring authority over the Temple Mount to the Chief Rabbinate, to be followed in the future by the building of the Third Temple — it has attracted fans from some wide and surprising circles. According to its own research, Zehut’s future voters include young people, many of them secular, who support libertarian values and in particular the legalization of marijuana.

>>Read more: Forget marijuana, Feiglin’s been smoking some pretty strong ideological stuff | Opinion 

Feiglin isn’t trying to hide his vision and his dangerous plans; just the opposite. He published the party platform in “To Be a Free Jew: An Operating Manual for the State of Israel,” a book that has become a nonfiction best-seller. His plan is described in detail in more than 300 pages. Anyone who votes for him won’t be able to say they didn’t know what they were getting.

Feiglin is a revolutionary with an organized extremist ideology, who has his eyes on the education and finance portfolios. His economic vision is extreme. Zehut is proposing to greatly restrict government intervention in the economy, to cut corporate taxes, eliminate customs duties and import quotas, reduce state intervention in public transportation, reduce taxes on private cars, introduce school vouchers, eliminate the current method of distributing land, eliminate all special taxes on land and more.

Zehut wants to totally subordinate the courts to the legislative branch and to neuter the gatekeepers, primarily the attorney general. At the same time, it calls for establishing a voluntary (for the time being) judicial system that would operate in accordance with Jewish religious law, or halakha.

There isn’t enough space to fully describe Feiglin’s right-wing, ultranationalist and dangerous vision. Anyone who doesn’t fully subscribe to this vision ought to be wary of him. Whoever yields to ridiculous dreams of liberty and cannabis for all will pay dearly when he is enslaved by an apartheid, halakha state whose capital is the Third Temple.

The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.