In a recent opinion piece, radical religious Zionist leader Moshe Feiglin, who received 23.4 percent of the vote in the Likud primary last month, wrote that Israel is wasting money on security and military operations when it could instead give that money to Palestinians to encourage them to emigrate from the West Bank and Gaza.
"We have certainly done our utmost to solve the Arab problem on the basis of the assumption that this is not our land. The Oslo Accords and their aftermath have been one long attempt to work with the assumption that this land is their land. Since the infamous Arafat-Rabin-Clinton handshake on the White House lawn, we have paid for this assumption with close to 2,000 dead, tens of thousands of wounded, a horrific expulsion and devastating despair.
"What people think about less is how much it costs us. Some simple calculation reveals that the solution based on the assumption that this land is not our land costs us about 200 billion dollars per decade. The cost of the security guards at the entrance to every cafe makes up 15% of this sum, which does not include protective roofs in Sderot and various anti-Kassam mechanisms.
"We can continue to spend these colossal sums on the same, failed assumption. We can continue to invest the 200 billion dollars in making the separation fence high enough to prevent Kassam missiles from flying into our towns. Or we can invest in a revolutionary, outrageous, unthinkable solution, based on the outlandish assumption that this really is our land. We can use the same amount of money to encourage Arab emigration from Judea, Samara and Gaza and to compensate them for their homes.
"According to findings published by Bir Zeit University, the vast majority of Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would be more than happy to escape the clutches of the terror thugs that the Oslo Accords have created, and to find a better future in a different country. According to research by Yoram Ettinger and his staff of demographers, this process is already taking place. That is why the Muslim religious clerics repeatedly forbid emigration from Judea, Samaria and Gaza - to no avail. The Arabs there continue to leave for the Gulf States and Canada. All that we have to do is encourage and aid them.
"The 200 billion dollars that we spend every decade on security guards, fences, roadblocks and social security payments to the families of the dead and wounded would amount to about one quarter of a million dollars for every Arab family in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. How many of the millions of Muslims who have emigrated to the West in the last decade have had that sum in their pockets?"
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Torah-true Jews strongly disassociate themselves from all Zionists, especially religious ones like Feiglin who claim that their extreme racist and belligerent ideas are the Torah view. We are alarmed that the world is being given the impression that these people are Orthodox, when in reality their views are a great departure from traditional Judaism.
To suggest that Palestinians would accept money from the Zionists to leave their homeland behind is surely the greatest insult to them. Feiglin also ignores the fact that it is his own group religious settlers who have done more than any Israelis to feed the fires of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which, he complains, has cost so much money.
In order to achieve peace, it is religious Jews on whom money and resources must be focused, to teach them the Torah and show them that Zionism is not consistent with the Torah. It is religious Jews who should be encouraged to emigrate, but it is unrealistic to think that this could happen overnight. Certainly religious Jews, more than any other Israelis, would feel at home in existing Jewish community infrastructures in other countries. But it would be necessary to greatly expand those communities to accommodate their numbers, and this is a long-term process. In short, religious Jews must focus on building their communities in other countries and not in the Zionist state.