A palpable excitement filled the air as over 1000 people gathered on Monday evening, March 21st at the Terrace On The Park catering hall in New York to attend the 9th annual gala dinner for the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) movement. This year’s dinner was dedicated to the incredible life and enduring legacy of Herbert Zweibon, ZT”L, the beloved founder and chairman of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI) who passed away on Tu B’Shevat, January 19, 2011, as special tributes were paid him. Considered a shining paradigm of pro-Israel activism in America, Mr. Zweibon was remembered in the fondest of terms by the Manhigut Yehudit leadership.

“My first memory of Herb Zweibon was when a took a year off to volunteer my time to AFSI”, said Rob Muchnick, US Director of Manhigut Yehudit. “We are proud to say that we continue to work with AFSI and will continue our important work together in the future. Herb’s fighting spirit was infectious and his entire being resonated with an overwhelming love of Israel and the Jewish people”, he added.

Helen Freedman, executive director of AFSI said, “I was very touched and pleased by the fact that Manhigut Yehudit saw fit to honor our beloved Herb Zweibon, z”l at their annual dinner. Since the goals of Jewish leadership and the preservation of a whole Israel are shared by both AFSI and Manhigut Yehudit, it was very appropriate that AFSI’s Chairman should be honored at this occasion. The large turnout of AFSI members was a tribute both to Herb and to the ideology of Manhigut Yehudit.”

The recent barbaric murders of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar on March 11th took center stage amongst dinner attendees and organizers. “Tonight we not only pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions to Jewish activism made by Herbert Zweibon but we recall with profound sorrow the horrific and tragic massacre of the Fogel family”, intoned Shmuel Sackett, international director of Manhigut Yehudit.

“There are revolutions underway in Egypt, Libya and the entire Arab world, but what about Israel?”, declared Mr. Sackett. Recalling that he and Manhigut Yehudit party chairman Moshe Feiglin led hundreds of thousands of Israelis in protests across the nation, he ruefully observed, “they did not help”. Adding that, “Israelis believe they live in a democracy in contrast to the people of Egypt who knew they didn’t live in a democracy. Israelis still believe in the democratic process and thus, we are here talking about positive change in the Israeli government. We are building a new leadership that will be committed to a complete and undivided land of Israel living to serve the one and only G-d of Israel,” he said.

“The conscience of Oslo is crumbling before our very eyes”, declared keynote speaker Moshe Feiglin, founder and co-president of Manhigut Yehudit. Regarded by many as the leading spokesman for the Land of Israel sector, Mr. Feiglin founded the Zo Artzeinu (This is Our Land) grassroots movement in 1994 which stood in vehement opposition to the Oslo Agreements, and later established the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) organization, which has since joined the Likud with the goal of “influencing from within.” Manhigut Yehudit is credited with giving the Likud, and especially its list of knesset members, a more nationalist slant than it would have had otherwise.

“After attending the funeral of the Fogel family, I realized that a dramatic shift in Israeli society was taking place”, intoned Mr. Feiglin. “When Galei Tzahal (Israeli Army Radio) broadcast the entire funeral live, I took note of the fact that this station is the second largest radio station in the country, and definitely not a right wing one, felt the need to report this event that rocked the entire nation. That means something as does the left wing journalist from the Ma’ariv newspaper who said after the slayings of the Fogels that he is “scared and frustrated that there will be no peace and that he wants to “hide under the dress of Daniella Weiss” (a leading figure in the settlement movement).

Delivering an optimistic prognostication of his future on the Israeli political scene, Mr. Feiglin declared, “The Oslo Accords had in the past engulfed the nation and caused a disconnect from reality, but now we have witnessed the fact that people are coming to terms with the abysmal failure of Oslo. It was then that I understood, that with the help of G-d, I am going to be the next prime minister of Israel and it’s going to be sooner than ever before.”

Addressing the recent ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Feiglin said, “Arab dictators are moving aside. Israelis have now come to the stark realization that they never had peace with Egypt when they saw Egyptian government opposition forces holding picture of Mubarak with the Star of David scrawled over his face.” Mr. Feiglin promised a change in Jewish leadership in Israel by carving out a new direction for Israeli youth. “For these young people, Oslo is the only language that they know. They have no concept of a true Jewish state but we are going to offer them an alternative that includes an authentic Jewish identity.”

He concluded by vowing, “When I become prime minister of Israel, no Arab will ever take a knife and slaughter a Jewish child.”

“Moshe Feiglin is a man who understands that the eternal possession of the Jewish people is a united and not divided state of Israel”, declared Pastor James David Manning of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem. A staunch pro-Israel advocate and ardent Christian Zionist, Pastor Manning recounted his biblical obligations to the Jewish people and the land of Israel by saying, “In the book of Genesis, chapter 12, G-d spoke to Abraham and said “whoever blesses the Jewish people shall be blessed and whoever curses the Jewish people shall be cursed”.

Recalling his youthful introduction to the “love of Zion” and the Jewish nation, Pastor Manning declared, “As a young man, I vividly remember the very clear, very resolute and very powerful words of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I was truly encouraged by his honesty and wisdom and the work that he accomplished in his life. I was so greatly impressed by his great love for G-d’s word .”


Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.


  1. jk says:

    Whilst i recognize that what has occured to Fogel family is a total tragedy and something that should be mourned and remembered I would briefly like to comment on 3 issues arising from this with regards to implicit link this excerpt makes and the explicit link this blog makes between islam and violence. The very first issue i wish to address is that of balance. Within the last two weeks we have seen 8 innocent palestinians killed, including children of 12 and 14 playing soccer outside their house (i.e not terrorists) and in an area which it would be very difficult to argue that they were human shields. Yet there is no comment on this. If we are to mourn victims as a result of the israeli- palestinian conflict let us please remember to mourn both victims, palestinians (many of whom are christian) as well as jews and Israeli\’s. God\’s love extends to every human being regardless of the political constructions of race and nationality and ALL human life is precious in His eyes. Let us not value one child more than another merely because one is a muslim and the other a jew. We are called to love both equally and in order to fulfill the role of peacemaker which God has given us let us remember to love individual\’s on both sides of the divide.

    Secondly there is the perception that islam as an ideological or spiritual force is driving terrorism. Unfortunately this is not true within this particular context and is broadly untrue of the more general clash of civilisation discourse we get fed. Terrorism in the israeli-palestinian context is caused more by sociological and economic factors and there have been a range of different ideologies shared by terrorist, including christian, atheistic and muslim. Merely because the language used is religious does not change the fact that what is instigating these acts is not a religious ideology that is bent toward violence but instead political undercurrents coached with religious language much like the catholic and protestant divide in northern ireland each with their own respective paramilitaries that were justified on religious grounds. We have to be cautious of sweeping claims that have a tendecy toward unhelpful charecterisations and untrue stereotyping. There are about 1 billion muslims in the world, with wide variety of sects, divisions who speak different languages and range from the cultural muslim to the liberal, the moderate and the tiny percentage of radical. We would better be able to show God\’s love to muslim and to all if we were a little more rigourous, careful and attentive to these differencies and details.

    Finally I believe sincerely that Christian Zionism is deeply flawed and potentially dangerous. In embracing this this theology and political ideology we are willing to support injustices and vast contradictions that are unfathomable. Much of what is carried out under the christian zionist blazon causes great damage to palestinian christian and muslim arabs. The jews may be God\’s chosen people but God does not love jews any more or less than anyone else. He longs for everyone to turn to him, is interested in issues of justice and people in pain, and we are in danger of making him appear more interested in the suffering of group of people over another. If you are interested in these issues I encourage you to watch a film called With God on Our Side. As christian’s we have to start loving everyone and reaching out to everyone and christian zionism makes it difficult for us to see the humanity and suffering caused by certain acts commited by israel and israeli’s. No man, nor nation is perfect- let us attempt to be a little more just in our portrayals.

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