What the Likud's 14th-Ranked Knesset Candidate Thinks of Arabs

CORRECTION APPENDED


Bradley Burston did me a favor today by resurrecting a quote from Moshe Feiglin, the hard-right Israeli who is number 14 on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beyteinu Knesset list (meaning that he will certainly be a member of the next Knesset). I had forgotten about my interview with Feiglin nine years ago, which was part of my reporting for a New Yorker story on the settlement movement. It's quite a shocking quote, and it's disturbing to see that Feiglin is now a part of the Likud leadership. Here's the quote, in context:
Moshe Feiglin, a Likud activist who lives in a West Bank settlement and heads the Jewish Leadership bloc within the Party -- he controls nearly a hundred and fifty of the Likud central committee's three thousand members -- believes that the Bible, interpreted literally, should form the basis of Israel's legal system.

"Why should non-Jews have a say in the policy of a Jewish state?" Feiglin said to me. "For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state, not destroy them." In any case, Feiglin said, "You can't teach a monkey to speak and you can't teach an Arab to be democratic. You're dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar. The Arab destroys everything he touches."

CORRECTION: Feiglin was 14th on the Likud list. On the joint Likud-Yisrael Beyteinu list, he is 23rd.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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