HUGE It looks like Netanyahu Really Lost the Mercaz Likud Vote After All

Well well well…isn’t this just beautiful? Though a final decision has yet to be made by the Likud court, it looks like that Central Committee vote that Netanyahu “won” last week really was a loss.

Here’s the article from Haaretz.

First of all, last week a Mercaz meeting was called that took place in Ariel. I was not there, but a neighbor of mine who is a Mercaz member described what happened as completely insane. Danon, who headed the meeting as chairman, completely and totally ignored those present. Apparently, he even hired 15 bodyguards during the meeting to ensure he wouldn’t be physically mobbed. He was booed fiercely by the crowd because they had voted down Netanyahu’s proposals, which where three:

  1. To push up the primaries to December 31 from January 6.
  2. To unite the Chairman and Knesset List elections and hold them on the same day.
  3. To allow Netanyahu to personally name 2 of his lackeys to the list.

The crowd was clearly against it, but Danon called for a secret ballot on the matter, which requires a certain amount of signatures which were not collected. The vote was appealed by Feiglin since there were no signatures for it, but that appeal was overruled.

Then Netanyahu “won” the vote 1567 to 835, because the ones that don’t show up to Mercaz meetings are the ones that support him, because they’re lazy, whereas we Feiglinites are motivated up the wazoo and would show up to a Mercaz meeting in Ramallah if we had to.

So, Feiglin and his sidekick Michael Fuah, a Manhigut Yehudit cofounder and the political brains behind the whole operation starting from the late 90’s, appealed to the Likud court again, but this time the appeal was a bit different.

The Likud Constitution states that the Knesset list election and the Chairmanship elections must take place on different dates. It also says that Knesset list elections must be “fair and equal”, which precludes Netanyahu from naming them personally. So, in order to change the Likud Constitution, you need a two-thirds majority. Count 1567 to 835 and it’s 41 votes shy of that majority.

The appeal is basically saying that since Netanyahu did not get his two-thirds majority, he in effect lost and cannot name candidates to the list, nor hold chairmanship and list primaries on the same day.

Now, even though a final decision from the court has not come in yet, it seems that Netanyahu is really nervous about this, because his men are talking personally with Fuah to find a compromise before the court rules.

This comes as an especially sweet victory for me because I remember four and a half years ago the Mercaz vote to postpone Mercaz elections. Netanyahu wanted to postpone the Mercaz elections precisely because he knew he’d lose control of it, and Netanyahu won that vote by getting over two-thirds to then change the constitution.

I remember going home that day after hanging out at the Herzliya Likud branch with Shmuel Sackett all day and feeling, for the first and thankfully only time, dejected and out of hope. For a few minutes I really thought that we could never win and Moshe had no chance of ever becoming prime minister.

I soon recovered, and now we really have stopped the Netanyahu steamroller. By 41 votes.

If the decision comes in to reverse the vote, it will be a real momentum changer in the party.

Feiglin takes a Shot Across Netanyahu and Danon’s Bow

Here’s the background:

Last week there was a big meeting of the Likud Central Committee in Tel Aviv. They were there to set the primary day agreed upon by Danny Danon and Benjamin Netanyahu to be January 6. Danon is the Central Committee Chairman.

Moshe Feiglin, playing the game, got up at the meeting of 3,000 people and submitted a motion to limit the primaries to stand for 6 months assuming no new general elections are called within that time frame. Primaries would then happen again before the next general elections. That would prevent Netanyahu from simply grabbing the crown now and using it as a blank check for the next 2-3 years to do whatever he wants.

The media was shocked and awed, but Feiglin’s motion actually passed by a wide majority. However, Danon basically ignored the vote, probably because he has a backroom deal with Bibi to team up against Feiglin in exchange for some petty crony position or other. Below is a video, in Hebrew, of Feiglin’s motion passing and Danon making up an excuse why it didn’t really pass. In his words, “People voted for both sides,” so the vote was “void”.

Besides that mess, Feiglin came off a total superstar during the meeting. I was not there as I am not a central committee member, but from what I hear he totally owned the place. Here’s a piece from Ynet about what went down that night and how Feiglin had to calm his supporters down not to jeer Netanyahu when he came up to speak. (The part about Rav Kahane is just stupid fluff having nothing to do with anything, but the media always has to bring up Kahane when Feiglin wins a battle in Likud.)

Here’s the video. Even if you don’t understand Hebrew, it is clear who’s the rock star here and who’s the zhlub.

So, a few days ago some crony lawyer name Something HaLevi wrote a letter to some other crony that Feiglin’s motion is illegal for some technical reason or other. (If you want to know the garbagey details, he wrote that it says in the Likud Constitution that the Chairman will be Likud’s candidate for prime minister, and that means that once he’s chosen, he’s chosen for the next elections no matter how far out they are. This is, of course, bullshit, but blah blah blah, not important, it’s all political theater anyway.)

So now, Feiglin has come out with his response, pretty much slamming Netanyahu and Danon, in public, for being crony schmucks, which they are, and saying that his motion did pass, and to ignore it is illegal.

He basically took a big shot across their bow without taking any legal action (yet), and they are both – Danon and Netanyahu – running against him for Chairmanship of the party.

Here is a translation of Feiglin’s letter:

To:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Chairman

Knesset Member Danny Danon, Likud Central Committee Chairman

The Likud

Concerning: The vote on the motion to limit the validity of the Primaries

After checking the pictures that were published from the Central Committee meeting last Sunday in the matter of my motion, it is quite obvious that my motion got a clear majority. Central Committee Chairman MK Danon’s claim, which he made after losing the open ballot vote twice, that certain Central Committee members were voting twice, has no supporting evidence, and it harms and mocks the Committee members.

The scandalous behavior of Chairman Danon does not end here.

The elections committee decided on November 6 that, in keeping with the recommendation of the Attorney General Avi HaLevi Esq., the vote for moving up the primaries and all the related motions are so important that they should be done by secret ballot today between 10am and 10pm. How and why did this decision evaporate? Why is the vote not now taking place?

It seems, unfortunately, that nothing at all as changed. Decisions are made behind closed doors between the Chairman and his representatives and the Central Committee Chairman. The committee members are simply there to be part of a play. When not all goes according to plan and the committee members do not play the part planned out for them and actually state their preference, you do not respect their decision while using the same dirty tactics we knew in the past.

The opinion that you solicited from Avi HaLevi Esq. where he claims that no vote should take place on my motion, is not worth responding to. If we keep going down that road, we can nullify every Likud Party institution and let HaLevy run the whole show. It’s obvious how much you yourselves disrespect HaLevy’s opinion because you are not holding a secret ballot vote on the Prime Minister’s request move up the primaries, as HaLevy proved must be done, and he even made sure to cite it as a decision of the elections committee.

I hereby declare, clearly and publicly, that my motion to limit the validity of the upcoming primaries to 6 months was accepted by the Central Committee.

I will also add that if we are indeed on the eve of elections as the Prime Minister claims, this unacceptable behavior I previously mentioned, brings up justified anger. The party will be dragged into the courts, instead of just having transparent procedures. This behavior has political consequences that we all will pay for. I call on both of you, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Central Committee Chairman Danny Danon, respect the decision of the Central Committee and its members.

Sincerely,

Moshe Feiglin

Does that mean Feiglin is going to court? I don’t know. He is certainly threatening it. I spoke to him on Friday and he was not sure if it is worth it to do so even though he thinks he can win. We’re winning anyway.

I’m not good at making political decisions, so I have no idea one way or the other if Feiglin should fight here over this issue. But I trust that whatever he decides, God will help us come out on top.

Both Danon and Netanyahu are going down in the end. They are nothing but petty politicians. Moshe Feiglin is the only man running.

 

 

Another Feiglin Article I wrote today

Featured on Israelmatzav:

Moshe Feiglin runs again – this time he could actually win

Guest Post by Rafi Farber

Late Sunday night, Netanyahu announced that, along with internal elections to choose a new Likud Central Committee and local representatives, the chairmanship of the party itself would be up for grabs. Moshe Feiglin answered the challenge immediately and announced his candidacy. Bibi v Feiglin round IV is now set for January 31, 2012.

All the political pundits in Israel immediately started asking why Netanyahu was doing this. Army radio, Galei Tzahal as they call it here, was abuzz with speculation. Political commentators shot off a bunch of sophisticated columns in all the newspapers explaining that Netanyahu is doing this to “take advantage of his popularity”. I will tell you now that this is false, and I will explain exactly why.

Back in April 2010, the Likud, for the first time in 10 years, was about to have elections to choose a new Likud Central Committee. Netanyahu fought really hard to postpone them because he knew at the time that if they happened back then, he would lose control of the LCC to the right wing of his party who reject him. Eventually the case got to the Supreme Court, those “guard dogs of democracy” as they call themselves, who allowed him to push off democratic elections. In the meantime, Netanyahu’s goal was to strengthen his base in the party by signing up a bunch of people who would vote for him in the next primary.

During that time, there has a been a deluge of even more new Likud members to the right of Bibi, voters that don’t exactly like his whole “building freeze” and uprooting and expulsion of Jewish towns like Migron and Havat Gilad these past few months, not to mention his handing over Hebron to the Arabs and signing the defunct Wye Accords.

And who was Bibi able to sign up to his side during this time? Pretty much nobody.

When Feiglin first for ran for Likud Chairman in 2003, he got 3% of the vote. When he ran again in 2005, he placed 3rd at 13% of the vote, more than quadrupling his previous support. When he ran again in 2007, he doubled again and got 24% of the vote. And that was back before all these new people signed up to the party.

Bibi is not doing this because he’s trying to “take advantage of his popularity”. Within the Likud party membership, he has very little. What he’s actually doing is preparing the ground to jump ship.

 

He knows he doesn’t have the numbers for the overwhelming victory he desperately needs to secure his place at the head of Likud. He knows we’re too strong by now. He knows that Feiglin will get at least 30-35% of the Likud vote, and that’s being conservative. If Feiglin scores that low in this next election, it will still be a  high enough percentage for Bibi to say, “Well, these Feiglinites are too strong. We have to get out of here and form a new Kadima II with Ehud Barak.”

This is not just speculation. The cover story of Monday’s Israel HaYom newspaper daily was, “Netanyahu: I did not guarantee refuge for Barak.”

Translation: “I did not promise political refuge for Barak.”

They know it’s in the back of his mind.

If Feiglin scores any higher than 30-35%, and he likely will, Netanyahu will run out of Likud as fast as possible. What will happen then? I guess we’ll all find out, but the party will be left to Feiglin.

The other possibility is that Feiglin outright wins the election. Any of these three possibilities spell the same conclusion. Netanyahu is on his way out of the party. That’s why he’s doing this now. He needs a new party with Barak to continue his plans to break left.

Netanyahu will quit Likud in February – Hopefully

We’ve got 80 days until internal Likud elections. I will be running for a seat on the Likud Central Committee as well as the head of the local Likud branch in Karnei Shomron, my home town. With God’s help and of course endorsement by Manhigut Yehudit, I will win both.

I just got this in my email from the Likudnik website. Translation follows:

When the numbers for the allocation of Likud central committee seats were published, it shocked the party leadership. It is now clear that Judea and Samaria will now constitute a majority in the central committee. It all started in 1992 when the Likud Constitution was ratified by Benjamin Netanyahu, who was the Likud head at the time. The idea was to bring in forces into the Likud which were until then inactive: Judea and Samaria, and small townships. But now it seems that the Golem is rising up against its creators and Netanyahu understood this week at a Likud faction meeting the depth of the problem, and his advisors brought up the idea of once again postponing the elections and/or changing the seat allotment.

However, when they brought up the idea they didn’t take into account that any postponement of the elections would constitute contempt of court because…they declared to the court that elections would take place by January 31.

It seems that the idea sunk just as it rose since the idea is absolutely undoable.

Netanyahu is scared because if he doesn’t control the Central Committee, he may as well just leave the party. This is exactly what Sharon did 6 years ago, and it is what Netanyahu will do in February.

Feiglin will hopefully rise up to take his place as Likud head as Netanyahu unites with Kadima and takes the rest of the Left Wing of Likud with him.

Interestingly enough, things will start heating up in the US at the same time as primary season starts in earnest in January. It’s going to be an exciting month, that’s for sure.

Well, there is one thing that Netanyahu can do to postpone elections. He can attack Iran. Short of that, he’s screwed.