B"H. Beis Moshiach Magazine is powered by:




Moshe Katzav Becomes Eretz Yisroel’s 8th President

Eretz  Yisroel’s new President is Moshe Katzav of the Likud. In a stunning election victory on Monday, he defeated One Israel’s Shimon Peres in the second round of voting.

The voting took four hours and two rounds of secret balloting, the announcement was made that Katzav won in a 63-57 vote of the 120-seat house. Jubilation is the order of the day in the nationalist, Sephardic, and other sectors of Eretz Yisroel. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in Yerushalayim, Katzav’s hometown of Kiryat Malachi, and elsewhere.

Ahead of the vote, political observers stated with a modicum of confidence that Peres would emerge victorious, but with the secret ballot, it is impossible to know who cast the surprise vote. It is clear that Katzav owes his election to elements in the left as well as the right.

The first official act of President Moshe Katzav, upon being informed of his election, was to don a yarmulke and publicly recite aloud the SheHecheyanu blessing. He later visited the Western Wall, where he recited a prayer of thanksgiving, verses from King Solomon’s dedication prayer for the Holy Temple, and Psalm 122: “Seek the welfare of Yerushalayim, may those who love it prosper.” He said there that the height of his excitement is not the announcement of his victory, but his visit to the Wall.

Katzav was the first candidate in Israeli history to be fielded by the Nationalist camp and win the office of presidency. 

Some felt that the move signaled a strengthening of the national camp, adding the presidential election was an expression of dissatisfaction of the Land for Peace policies.

Katzav’s win was also a victory over the media, which almost unanimously predicted that Peres would win.

Katzav will be sworn into office on Tuesday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Av.


Moshe Katzav was born in 1945 in Iran, from where he immigrated to Eretz Yisroel at the age of 6. Married with five children, he graduated Hebrew University with a degree in economics and history. He is fluent in Hebrew, English, Persian, and Arabic.  He served in the IDF as a Corporal in the Communication Corps. In his private life he is involved in numerous educational and social as well as welfare organizations like helping immigrants from Iran in Eretz Yisroel.

Over the years he has been a correspondent for Yediot Achronot and other publications.  Katzav has been a Member of Knesset since 1977, and served as Minister of Welfare and Labor, Transportation, and Tourism. His brother Lior serves as Mayor of Kiryat Malachi, a position which the new President once held himself.

PROPHETIC WORDS OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE TO MR. MOSHE KATZAV:“buckling under pressure brings more pressure.”

On Yud Sh’vat, 5752 - January 15, 1992, Mr. Moshe Katzav, then the Transportation Minister of Eretz Yisroel under the Shamir administration, met with the Rebbe during distribution of dollars for charity.  This meeting occurred at the time when the forerunner of the Oslo accords, the Madrid Talks, were underway.  Below is a record of that discussion as noted from the audible parts of the video tape and as recalled by those who were present. (This transcript is available on line at www.truepeace.org.)

When the Transportation Minister, Moshe Katzav, was introduced to the Rebbe, the Rebbe shook his hand and continued to hold it for the entire duration of the conversation and blessed him as follows:

The Rebbe: “Within the realm of your position, you should merit to solidify the bond between the Nation of Eretz Yisroel, the Torah of Eretz Yisroel, and G-d, so that these three should never be separated.”

The Rebbe then continued addressing Mr. Katzav: “I recently heard a strange and frightening rumor regarding talks and impending decisions by the Israeli government, concerning surrendering parts of the Land of Israel. They are currently discussing a five-year plan [Madrid talks] which they describe as ‘autonomy.’

“In truth, however, the semantics are meaningless, and it makes no difference what they call the issue. The plain truth is that these talks and affairs fall under the explicitly stated Torah prohibition of ‘not ingratiating yourselves to the nations,’ which includes the prohibition of ceding any part of the Land of Israel to the nations of the world.

“These talks will eventually lead to the actual surrender of parts of the Land of Israel. Thus, the very act of holding such talks constitutes a rejection of G-d and His Torah, of the Land of Israel and the holiness of the Land of Israel. Discussions of autonomy plans are just a prelude to surrendering parts of the Land of Israel; and not just small territories, rather large expansive parts such as Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Hebron, and Jerusalem, etc. This involves life-and-death issues (pikuach nefesh)!

“It is irrelevant how the Jews interpret it [the ‘autonomy’ proposal]. What matters is how the gentiles understand it. They interpret the plan as one eventually leading to the surrender of parts of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“You understand Arabic. So go and ask the Arabs who live there what their intention is in discussing a five-year autonomy plan. You will see that they will tell you that their intention is that they will actually be given parts of the Land of Israel for the purpose of establishing a Palestinian state. It automatically follows that it is totally irrelevant how the Jews interpret it [to themselves], because what matters is how the gentiles view the issue.

“The very act of discussing autonomy plans is a desecration of G-d’s Name and of holiness. Whereas the fact that there are individual Jews in the Land of Israel who do not keep Torah and mitzvos relates specifically to desecrating their personal lives. But here, we are discussing a situation in which the government of Eretz Yisroel will publicly declare war against G-d and His Torah.

“As to the explanation [of the Likud] that the only matter under discussion is limited self-rule, under which the Arabs will be in charge of their own education and agriculture etc., but not foreign affairs and security, and that this is only a trial period ... these are all matters of diplomacy.

“I shall not argue with you on this, as it seems that you understand more about diplomacy than I. But here we are not discussing diplomacy, but the surrender of parts of the Land of Israel. The very fact that negotiation on this is taking place is a desecration of G-d’s Name, and in opposition to G-d and His Torah. It then makes absolutely no difference what kind of diplomatic icing the Jews put on top of it.

“The reason given for these talks is that there is a mass immigration from Russia, and Eretz Yisroel, therefore, needs America’s loan guarantees, etc., and that, therefore, we must take into account what the American government will say.

“This consideration is the first step to giving away land. The proof of this is, that the Likud themselves state that the reason they are doing all this is the pressure from the nations. So, afterwards, when there is even more pressure, they will capitulate further, ad-infinitum.

“We have seen this in the past: buckling under pressure brings more pressure.”

Minister Moshe Katzav then remarked that in the previous year President Bush had sent a letter opposing a Palestinian state, but a year later Bush simply wrote that he was not in favor of a Palestinian state, so we see here a [positive] change in his stance.

The Rebbe responded:

“And we see in which direction the change is heading. It is unfathomable that a Jew who believes in G-d and His Torah could be a party to such actions, or could add his signature to such an arrangement. Likewise, it is preferable that the [Shamir] government should fall and there should not be a Jewish government, since the only reason they are even discussing these plans is because of pressure from the nations (as they themselves admit). If so, it would be preferable that they establish, G-d forbid, a non-Jewish government in the Land of Israel, which will decide what to do with the Land of Israel. At least then there will not be Jews signing such agreements!

“You certainly know Mr. Menachem Begin, who at the outset did not agree with the Camp David ideas, and was strongly opposed to them. But eventually he began to make compromises, and from what we hear today, he has great remorse over having given up a part of the Land of Israel.

“Had people who do not believe in G-d been responsible for this, we could understand this. But that the signature for abandoning parts of the Land of Israel should be from Jews who believe in G-d! This is a desecration of His Name. Shamir believes in G-d and in the holiness of the Land of Israel. It is, therefore, completely mind-boggling that he should be the one to agree to negotiate on a plan whose eventual outcome is the surrendering of parts of the Land of Israel.

“Security of the Land of Israel comes from G-d alone. If they acted accordingly and stood firmly as the hour dictates, there would not be any reason to worry about the safety of the Land of Israel. Meanwhile they only speak of a five-year interim period, because they are afraid to openly state that they want to give up parts of the Land of Israel. But their true intentions are clear. According to my estimation, Shamir himself knows this - and better than I.

“Shamir has many merits in connection with the Land of Israel, going back to the time of the Irgun, when the gentiles had control over the Land of Israel. Shamir fought against this, but now it is he who speaks of giving away parts of the Land of Israel! In my opinion, what practically must be done now is for Shamir to immediately halt the decision and negotiations on autonomy.

“I always fought for a Shamir government, and I did everything within my power to establish a government with Shamir as its head. However, if they continue in this direction of negotiations, then I Menachem Mendel will be the first to fight with all of my forcefulness and might against Shamir, so that his government will fall. Until today, only Mr. Shimon Peres has stood against Shamir’s government. But if Shamir continues in this direction negotiating about autonomy, then I too will stand against the government of Shamir.

“If Shamir is unable to withstand the pressure of the goyim, let him publicly declare that he cannot withstand the pressure, and is, therefore, unable to continue as Prime Minister. As I have said many times in the past, a shamir (in the Bible) is a worm which cuts through hard stone. So let Shamir release a shamir into the decision to speak about these matters of giving up parts of the Land of Israel. Then this decision, and all thought of such matters, will be cut of and totally nullified, ceasing to exist.”

Minister Moshe Katzav then said:

“The Rebbe shlita is the one who established the present government, and we would like the continued blessing of the Rebbe for this government, as it will add holiness to the government.”

The Rebbe replied: “When Shamir will add holiness to the Land of Israel, then he will gain the strength to stand against all the pressures.”

Minister Moshe Katzav:

“Shamir will surely be strong.”

The Rebbe replied:

“Until now he has been strong, and we must, therefore, see to it that they immediately cease all talk about autonomy. You will surely relate all this to Mr. Shamir, and not be angry with me for placing such an unpleasant task upon you. But relay this with all of the forcefulness with which I have said it to you. I apologize for speaking such harsh words. In truth, this matter needs to be discussed at greater length, but there is no time now to go into it further.”

(Approximately 4,000 Jews and non-Jews were waiting in line in the cold for a precious moment with the Rebbe).

“May there be only good news to relate, and may they only discuss the holiness of the Land of Israel and Am Yisroel.

“May there be good news.”


The Rebbe’s brachos are especially auspicious today on the occassion of the inauguration of Mr. Moshe Katzav as the new President of Eretz Yisroel.  It is our fervent hope that Mr. Katzav will remember the Rebbe’s words and take them to heart.


Moshe Katzav meets with the Rebbe MH"M
“The very act of discussing autonomy plans is a desecration of G-d’s Name and of holiness ... here we are discussing a situation in which the government of Eretz Yisroel will publicly declare war against G-d and His Torah.”


Home | Contents | Archives | Contact Us | Subscriptions | Submissions | Interactive | Chat | Advertise

©Copyright. No content may be reprinted without permission.