Well, he didn’t say Har Habayit. He said Al Aqsa. But this is starting to get interesting. Of course, Tibi will go up with the rest of the Arabs today or tomorrow and nobody will stop him.
Yesterday Netanyahu forbade any politician from going up to Har Habayit, first only Jewish ones, but then I guess he decided that was racist or something, so he figured he would apply it to Arab politicians too and just not enforce it equally.
Meanwhile Iran is invading Syria and Russian and US fighter planes are getting close to dogfights. Things are getting quite interesting out here.
I’m not going up any time soon. I don’t feel like getting stabbed or getting stuck in the middle of a riot. I’ve had rocks thrown at me on Har Habayit before. It’s not pleasant.
I ended up not voting for anyone. Someone pledged money and then backed out, and I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Arabs. If something bad happened I didn’t want it on my conscience that I voted. There was an article, I think on Zerohedge, a few days ago about common statist arguments. One of them was “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” The truth is exactly the opposite.
Ah, I found it. Here it is, originally on Liberty.me. Google really is an awesome search engine.
“If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”
This is exactly wrong. People who do not vote are the only people who have a right to complain. Those who vote for people who win elections are endorsing politicians and their minions who will engage in activities under color of law that would be punished as crimes if you or I did them. Those who vote for people who lose elections may not be vicariously responsible for the crimes of state agents in the same degree, but participating in the system helps to create the appearance of legitimacy for that which is inherently illegitimate.
I did not vote, therefore I have a right to complain. If you voted, you have no right to complain.
So anyway, God has his own plans, I don’t know what they are, so whatever I think is good and bad about these results is irrelevant. But for what it’s worth, here’s what makes me happy (relatively) and what makes me less happy, in my own superficial emotional responses to larger pictures that are not presented to my eye directly by the Creator of the Universe.
First, Bennett can go blank my blank. He’s dead, his party is dead, it’s back to Mafdal sectoral nonsense, he has no future, he’s gone, goodbye. (Wry smile by me.)
Second, Eli Yishai is out, he can also go blank my blank. He’s never coming back, he will disintegrate into obscurity, good bye, good riddance, now go do your speaking rounds because there’s nothing else anyone will hire you for. The biggest Hillul Hashem in the Knesset, in my opinion, for specifically religious Jews (Netanyahu is the biggest for Jews in general) is out. No more hearing about how the gay people caused massive fires in the Carmel and other lovely gems.
Third, Baruch Marzel, who would have been the magnet for the “all nationalist Jews are crazy” mantra, is also out. That will save many a Hillul Hashem for nationalist Jews down the line.
Fourth, Tzipi Livni is again relegated to a loss. She’s the new Shimon Peres and I hope she looks for yet another stupid party to crash after Likud, Kadima, Tnua, now Labor. Or Zionists, or whatever they want to call themselves.
Fifth, Lieberman is dead. He’ll be absorbed by something, and Yisrael Beiteinu is dead. That’s good.
As for what makes me relatively sadder for today at least, Netanyahu’s, I admit it, pretty impressive victory, my two conclusions are, really, there is nobody else who fits the bill of Prime Minister except Feiglin of course, but he’s on hiatus right now. Anyone else filling that seat is, admittedly, laughable.
Second, the only way he will ever stop leading the Israelis government is in the event of a global economic catastrophe that everybody blames him for. Otherwise, he’s going to be Prime Minister until he dies (not calling for any violence here), and he’s got really top notch longevity genes in his family. His father died at what, 102 or something like that?
Yup, 102. Google gets it again. So it’s either economic catastrophe, or King Bibi for another 36 years give or take.
One poll one poll. I know. If you’ve been following Feiglin’s posts since he left Likud, he’s now unhinged, and it’s beautiful. I love it. He can now directly attack Netanyahu, and it’s a big relief.
On my side of things, I can now unleash all the nausea of being part of the Likud Party, which I loathed from the very beginning. Those who don’t know me can say I’m just a turncoat who signed up a bunch of people but when things didn’t go my way I soured. But those who know me know how gross politics makes me feel and the burden on my shoulders being part of this political game.
So now I can root for all the Likud politicians, from the less nauseous Hotobeli and Levin to all the way to Dichter and HaNegbi, to all go down with the ship. Hotobeli and Levin were never with us, they only used us. Levin was actually part of the deal to push Moshe out of the Knesset.
But anyway, the point is, Likud is starting to fall in the polls. It is now down to 20 seats, compared with Labor’s 24. Bayit Yehudi is up to 16. Bennett, since he’s basically the exact same thing as Netanyahu but worse because he wears a kippah and that disarms people into thinking he’s good, could actually end up beating Bibi. That would be the best case scenario, because then Likud would pretty much be a dead man walking and nobody can bring it back.
מנתוני הסקר, שהוצגו הערב בערוץ 10, עולה כי העבודה-התנועה מקבלת 24 מנדטים, מנדט אחד יותר מהסקר שנערך בסוף דצמבר. הליכוד, כך על-פי אותו סקר, מקבל 20 מנדטים – אחד פחות מאשר הסקר שפורסם לפני כשבועיים. המפלגה השלישית בגודלה היא הבית היהודי עם 16 מנדטים ואחריה יש עתיד וכולנו עם 10 מנדטים כל אחד. מרצ מקבלת 6 מנדטים וישראל ביתנו 5.
The poll, shown on channel 10 this evening, shows that Labor-Tnua gets 24 seats, one more than it got last December. The Likud gets 20 seats – one less than two weeks ago. The third largest party is Bayit Yehudi with 16 seats, and after that Yesh Atid and Kulanu with 10 each. Meretz has 6, and Yisrael Beteinu 5.
The only strength Likud has now that Moshe is out is Bibi. And the only thing that makes Bibi strong is his familiarity. If Bibi loses, nobody will regain that for the party, forget it. It’s gone. Likud as a political force is finished.
So far one poll at 20, with two whole months to go. You’ll see the trend start to go down by the week. If polls say by March that Likud gets 17-18 seats, it will end up with 15-16 or less. It always underperforms at election time. Perhaps equally satisfying is that Lieberman is dead, too. 5 seats is even less than Meretz.
Netanyahu is out. Meanwhile, we’re building our Medina Yehudit party. We’ll be ready by the time this spit-glued government, if it even forms, disintegrates within months.
The day after, it’s hard. But I saw this coming. Just see my previous post.
In short, here’s what goes down from here. First, if you remember recent Israeli elections history, you’ll note that in the last two elections going back to 2009, Likud won a lot less seats than they were polling only a few days before the elections. In 2009 they were polling 35 a few days before and won 27. In 2012, Likud Beiteinu was polling 39 and won 31.
Even before that, in 2006, the leading party ended up winning a lot less seats than it was polling just before election day. Olmert’s Kadima was polling in the upper 30’s and came away with 29. In 2006, the surprise was the Pensioners, the Old People Party, that somehow got 7 seats. In 2013 it was Yesh Atid, which somehow ended up with 19 seats.
People are sick of Likud and they’re sick of Netanyahu. They say what they say to the pollsters but when they’re in the booth, many are looking for something different. Same this time around. From here Likud will start to slowly fall in the polls, from 22, down to 20, down to 18, and by election day they’ll end up with about 15. Bayit Yehudi could even end up beating them. Herzog will be Prime Minister, or there will be elections again if he can’t build a coalition.
The results for Likud will be so embarrassing that Netanyahu will have to resign. From there, Feiglin will run for the top spot again and win. In the background, the Eurozone will be imploding, inflation skyrocketing, and general financial chaos will ensue from all the money printing that has gone on since the last crash.
Looks like Eli Yishai, my favorite coward and Hilul Hashem, will be voting for the Jewish homes in the Ulpana neighborhood to be destroyed. Looks like his partner, Housing Minister Ariel Attias, will also be voting to destroy the homes, because they both earn 41,000 shekels a month as government ministers and they like money and don’t want to get fired, and would rather have innocent families who don’t earn as much lose their homes and become homeless. It’s only fair.
Housing Minister Ariel Attias made clear in an interview with Army Radio that his party (Shas) will go along with the Prime Minister’s directive to vote against the Normalization Law. “We will not vote against the position of the coalition (read the position of Netanyahu), and we will not support the Normalization Law, certainly the Ministers will not,” he said. “This is not something to stir up a coalition crisis over.
Yeah, why endanger the coalition that pays you 41,000 shekels a month of my tax money and welfare to your voters when it’s just a few people’s houses at stake who don’t even vote for your party? It’s not like you’re the minister of housing or anything (as if there should even be a minister of housing in the first place, which there should not be).
I’m not angry. I didn’t expect anything more from anybody in Shas, or Israel Beiteinu for that matter, because they are both one-man parties and the Knesset Members don’t answer to any of their constituents, so no matter what they do, they’ll be voted back in if Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef or Avigdor Lieberman wants them back in the list next round.
There are no leaders in Shas or Israel Beiteinu, so they cannot go against Netanyahu. They are just money vacuums. They don’t care about what is right, only about what is profitable for themselves – including Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef.
We’ll see what happens in the Likud though, which does answer to the party members. Those who vote against the Normalization Law will have a very hard time keeping their jobs.
You cannot stand up to any pressure if you are not a leader. The only leader that exists is Netanyahu, and no one can stand up to him except Moshe Feiglin, who is the only one actually trying to replace him.
Sometimes it just comes down to simple guts. Much like Ariel Sharon’s ministers all had a choice whether or not to vote for the disengagement and expulsion of Jewish families from Gaza, those who voted against Sharon’s wishes were fired, but their votes counted, and ultimately the one who was fired from the Likud was Sharon himself, whose party, Kadima, no longer exists in a real sense. Polls show that they are down to 3 seats from a current 28 ever since Shaul Mofaz heroically joined the government in fear of losing Kadima if he didn’t. What a brave man.
Now in Sharon’s place is Netanyahu, who is instructing his ministers to vote against the Normalization Law, which would prevent a neighborhood of Beit El from being destroyed.
Most likely, those ministers who vote for the law will be fired, but they will all be supported by the Likud members next election, and we will all know who they are when they vote on Wednesday.
We will simply vote for the ones who voted for this law, and not vote for the ones who did not. Nothing could be more straightforward.
Those who say the issue here regarding the Ulpana neighborhood is “complicated” are spinsters. The issue is very simple. Jews are living on their land, and Arabs want them off. There’s nothing complicated about it. The purpose of the Normalization Law which will make the Ulpana “legal” is simply a fiction. It’s a game of tennis. It means nothing. What the Knesset should really do is simply flip off the Supreme Court on the grounds that they are a self-elected dictatorship, throw them all out, and have the next supreme court elected by the Jewish Nation.
The Normalization Law is merely a symbol that the Jews actually believe the land of Israel is Jewish land.
If a Likud minister doesn’t really believe that, then he’ll prefer his job and his tax money salary. If he does believe it, he’ll prefer the truth. On Wednesday we’ll see who prefers his well earned tax money salary, and who prefers the truth.
We’ll see whose more scared of being fired by Netanyahu, or of being fired by Netanyahu’s boss – the Likud members.
This interview first appeared in the January 20th addition of Olam Katan, a religious Zionist publication. Those getting their political science major can get some insights from Feiglin’s point of view. What follows is an original translation by World of Judaica.
They’re Not Laughing Anymore – An Interview with Moshe Feiglin
Oftentimes it seemed that the hardest thing to listen to for the last 13 years has been his complete and utter seriousness while demanding “Faith-based leadership for Israel.” In the end, maybe this makes even us, the religious Zionists, nervous • Moshe Feiglin is running alone against Benjamin Netanyahu for leadership of the Likud. The results of these primaries, even if they don’t end in a victory for him, will still be enough to bring this man’s vision one step closer to reality • Moshe Feiglin answers all the questions you ever wanted to ask – to what extent he believes in his goal. How younger Knesset Members have overtaken him. Why is it that it’s hardest for religious people to come to terms with Jewish Leadership. What mistakes does he admit and what does he remain stubborn about • The Big Race
A long time ago they were sure that he would eventually give up, that the process had exhausted itself and that he himself already understood this. After the 2006 elections when the Likud won only 12 seats, the pundits mocked him saying that according to the “influence from within the centers of power” logic of Manhigut Yehudit, Feiglin now had to leave Likud and go to Kadima. After he failed to attain a Knesset seat in 2009, they came down hard on him. The religious columnists specifically lambasted him for his arrogance in running for the Likud leadership time and again, on the non-politically-correct “we have come to replace you” approach against the present Likud leadership. They claimed that Olmert became prime minister only because of him.
And despite all this, as the sand continues to blow, Moshe Feiglin (50) is back, running yet again, this time as the only candidate, this time against a sitting prime minister. In political terms this would be considered suicide, but that’s nothing for Feiglin. This is already his fourth time. The first time, 9 years ago, then again running against a sitting prime minister, he got 3.5% of the vote. Two years later he got 12.5%. In 2007, Likud had primaries once again, where he was granted nearly a quarter of the Likud vote. In Jerusalem, the biggest branch of the ruling party, he got nearly 40% of the vote. He could have even gotten a larger portion, but Netanyahu and his men made a herculean effort to bring their supporters to the polls in order to prevent Feiglin from winning the capital city. Not to mention that in other cities as well that are certainly not settlements, Feiglin achieved impressive results. In Gadera, for example, he got 38% of the vote. In Beit Shemesh, 31%. Yavne, 28%, and even in Haifa he reached 26% support.
They claim that only because of him and Manhigut Yehudit, Sharon decided to leave the Likud and establish Kadima. That Manhigut Yehudit was the only thing preventing the inventor of the concept of Disengagement from taking over Menahem Begin’s historic movement. For these primaries, by the way, he comes armed with surprisingly supportive statements from a Leftist icon, Avrum Burg. Burg, on the “Head to Head” television program on the Knesset channel, said last month that “The only man that presents a serious alternative, and puts forth an organized and relevant political philosophy that is worth contending with and presents a real challenge for us, is Moshe Feiglin.” The conversation we had was a bit harried, since Feiglin was invited to a political event in the Israeli Arab village of Bara. Many Likud voters he probably did not find there, but then again the man is trying to lead the whole country.
Two weeks before primaries where his raising his support level yet again is a real possibility, as the step he told us all to take 13 years ago – joining the Likud party – is making more and more waves in the religious Zionist sector, he is still convinced that a faith based candidacy for leadership of the country is the only viable path capable of stopping the oncoming flood.
Q. Many have followed you into the Likud, and almost all of them have already overtaken you. Hotobeli, Edelstein, and Elkin are all religious Zionists that got close to the leadership thanks in no small part to Manhigut Yehudit voters. They found their way into the coalition table and they are very well liked, while you are excluded.
A. If I would have worked in the normal accepted manner that seeks to get immediate political dividends, no one would have overtaken me, but I insist on remembering the reason I joined the Likud in the first place. Not to be a Knesset Member or even a Minister, but to point the whole country toward one true, large and substantive goal. Light at the end of the tunnel, rather than a rearguard war that many good people in the religious Zionist community are fighting. For the sake of the truth, when I joined politics 13 years ago, there were already many knitted kippot in the crowd, with religious Knesset members and religiously observant ministers. In that sense, the situation has not changed all that much.
My eyes are turned towards the final goal, and because of this there are weights on my legs that may seem to weigh me down in a personal sense from attaining political posts. But in reality, these aren’t weights, but wings I am not willing to cut. I could have said that I would no longer run for the party leadership, that I already did what I had to do, but that would have made the whole revolution culminate in something of a new National Religious Party, this time within the Likud. While true that we did succeed in getting the faith-based public into the Likud, which is something very important that I do not belittle for a second, I will not allow a situation in which we are in the same sectorial politics, but this time within the ruling party. I’m not interested in yet another knitted kippah in the Knesset, even if underneath that kippah is the name of Moshe Feiglin. The goal is to lay out a faith based alternative to lead Israel. This is a goal that cannot be accomplished without a conscious decision to run for the country’s leadership, so that the light will not be extinguished, so that there will still be light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s funny. People that fought against me from every podium when I joined the Likud are now in the Likud and continuing to fight me from within. Effi Etam (former leader of the National Religious Party) and Benny Elon (former member of the National Union) already admitted that I was right, but I’m sad to say that even after they’ve said this, many of us still do not have the courage to come and take the truth to its logical endpoint like I’m doing. I didn’t come to the Likud to save the settlements, even though it’s true that from within the Likud there is a stronger power base to accomplish this than there is in the sectorial parties.
They tell me, “You’re trying to fill shoes that are too big for you,” and I answer, “So come with me and then I’ll have bigger shoes!” The coming elections will be decided by 15,000 votes. The gap between me and Netanyahu last time was about 17,000 votes. If the people that tell me I’m trying to fill shoes that are too big for me would have joined Likud, I would have had no problem winning the party’s leadership by now. More than that though, there would have been no problem changing the entire direction of the Return to Zion from Zionism that keeps God out of the picture, to Zionism with the vision of “The Mountain of the Lord is the highest of all Mountains.” The settlement pioneers that ran to Judea and Samaria in the spirit of Rav Kook have been inundated with hardships and trudging through day-to-day affairs, and are incapable of putting forward such a vision.
But sometimes the arrogance of running against a sitting Prime Minister without even the success of first being elected a Knesset member makes for a very strange impression. Wouldn’t it be better to be satisfied with less declarations, superlatives and unwinnable candidacies and to focus in the meantime on less ambitious goals? We all want there to be Jewish leadership, but the way it’s being done seems too belligerent, a bit pompous.
Let’s not forget that thanks to great arrogance we have made great achievements like the wave of religious Zionists joining the Likud. Had I not dared to run for leadership of the party, such a change in consciousness would never have occurred. The language that changes consciousness is not spoken with lips, but with legs. We codified our vision in the “Lehat’hila” journal long before we joined the Likud, but until the point where we began to walk the walk of politics and put our hat in the leadership ring, it didn’t have any real effect on the nation’s consciousness. Many a good man before us tried to convince the right wing to join the Likud, and the fact is they only succeeded in signup up a few people. The fact is, they were not able to convince the public to follow them, and the reason is that the public follows a vision, and not simple tactical moves. Manhigut Yehudit put forward that vision, and from that moment people began to join the Likud through other avenues besides us as well.
Religious People with Little Faith
But nevertheless, do results not matter? After 13 years, you got to 23% of the party vote, and you have yet to become a Knesset member. At this rate it will take another 40 years to become the party leader. And even if theoretically you do beat Netanyahu one day, he’ll leave the party the same day and everyone will follow him. Everyone understands that the true Likud is no longer here.
When my family came to Israel 120 years ago, everyone was still in Belarus and shook their heads at that one rich Jew that decided to take his successful family to a barren wasteland. It was the craziest and most illogical thing to do. But at the end of the day, since it was the right thing to do, the realistic thing to do, that is to say it was God’s Will, because of that, we – his descendants – live here, and we all know what happened to those who stayed behind. We believe that the Third Return to Zion will not be undone, that the Holy One Blessed Be He isn’t joking around with us only to return us back to exile. And since the State of Israel will continue to exist, it cannot be anything but a State that fulfills the will of God. That is to say, and the end of the day, this country must have faith-based leadership. The only question is, what part will we take in this story.
Actually, I’m doing exactly what my grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather did, meaning what I believe the Will of God to be. Anyone who refuses to join us is, in practice, delaying the development of Jewish leadership for the State of Israel, he’s the one that is unrealistic, refusing to develop, he’s the one that I’m sad to say will pay the price. God wills that this country have Jewish leadership. There is no other possibility.
Who knows what God’s will is? The Holy One Blessed Be He also destroyed Gush Katif and brought us the Holocaust.
In truth, I don’t know how long it will take before our victory becomes actualized. Just like the Wright brothers who thought up the idea that a body heavier than air could fly, tried a hundred times to build it and they all crashed. But in the end it flew. And the very second it began to fly, all of the 100 failures became part of the ultimate success. Understand what kind of success it was when in the last primaries nearly a quarter of the Likud membership – not the NRP or the National Union – a quarter of the membership of the biggest political party in Israel voted for me. I surpassed all the senior ministers, Uzi Landau, Yisrael Katz…I surpassed Shaul Mofaz, which is why he left to Kadima.
For whatever reason, the Likudniks don’t ask themselves these types of questions you’re asking me. The ones who ask me, and weak of faith they are in this case, are specifically the religious ones, and I must say, it frustrates me to a great deal. There’s a process going on here where specifically the ones who are supposed to believe that “the redemption of Israel happens slowly but surely” find it difficult to understand for some reason. We’re in the middle of a necessarily inevitable victory, a process that can’t NOT win according to our worldview. If you’re a leftist and you think the country is going to be destroyed because of what we’re doing and that we’re promoting national disintegration and destruction, then fine. But if you understand that we are in the process of redemption, then I simply don’t understand how it’s possible NOT to understand the implications of my candidacy. Manhigut Yehudit is continually gaining strength, and even the Prime Minister is showing through his behavior how much he is stressed out by my progress.
Your book “Where There are No Men” is a book on the revolutionary period of your Zo Artzeinu Movement during the Oslo Accords. Maybe it was better back then, as a protest movement outside the political realm?
For me personally it was a lot more fun back then. It was fun being a child with no responsibility. There’s nothing easier than blocking a highway, sitting in jail and reaping the fruits of praise. My position in Zo Artzeinu was a springboard for me that I could have used for a soft landing into politics all for myself, but I understood that that wouldn’t accomplish a thing. We don’t lack knitted kippot in politics. We lack men with vision who are actually trying to achieve that vision, showing the public that its leaders are taking them in the wrong direction and showcase an alternative. It’s one or the other: Either we don’t have an alternative to the current reality, and then the question arises as to why we’re complaining about Barak, Sharon and the rest, or we have an alternative – and then it has to come together with contending for the leadership of the country.
I’ve learned this from the Israeli Left. The Leftists were never a majority in Israel, so how did it happen that their ideology set the Israeli reality? Very simple. They were not satisfied with putting up a bunch of settlements, meaning Kibbutzim and their own communities. The immediately translated their ideology into public policy and ran for leadership of the country. They had a leadership consciousness. By us, however, nothing of the sort has ever over crossed the boundary of private or local community-based belief to the point of national leadership. The Right does not lack protest movements. This is not what I was looking for. I was looking for a solution. A faith-based alternative to the whole process of collapse that we find ourselves in.
If the 3% of radical leftists were able to take control of the Zionist enterprise in the 20’s and 30’s because they had a vision, and then succeeded in directing the entire process of the Return to Zion to one that has no God, that leaves God aside, why aren’t we capable of initiating the reverse? The answer is that we don’t believe in ourselves enough. We don’t believe that our Torah is relevant, and worst of all – we don’t believe in the Nation of Israel and its uniqueness.
And I’m telling you that the Nation of Israel is waiting and anticipating this kind of message with baited breath. You see it in the music that is becoming more and more faith-based, in the culture that is turning into this, in the yearning for a return to family values…you have no idea how many times this comes up in the polls again and again. You see that the Nation of Israel wants to be Jewish, so why are we afraid of giving it to them, giving them leadership that can provide it? Why do we continually place ourselves in the role of barking at the passing convoy? Why are we afraid to think big?
They’re afraid? No, We’re Afraid.
I hear people say that there’s nothing to be worried about. That we just have to stand our ground in Judea and Samaria and we’ll fight tactical wars where we need to and we’ll vote for the least bad candidate and the situation will somehow work itself out in our favor. We saw in the Disengagement where such thinking leads. In an overall sense, we’re in a process of redemption, but in the immediate sense, the State of Israel is being led by forces that do not share our beliefs. Therefore, it follows necessarily that if there won’t be Jewish leadership, the Disengagement will have a bitter sequel. I’m not saying this in order to scare anybody, but from a very simple dialectical analysis. If you don’t present an alternative, there is a limit to how many fingers you can put in the dike in order to stop the raging waters.
What’s your opinion on Rabbinic leadership and the general leadership of the religious Zionist sector?
I respect them very much. They’re doing work one can only admire. It pains me a little that I’m seen as one who doesn’t know how to value the efforts of Torah based groups, or love of Israel that organizations like Tzohar effectively demonstrate. It’s simply untrue. I know how to value and even admire these people.
On the other hand, I must say that I only say what I think is true. Of course with love, an embrace, but the truth must be spoken. I am against blurring identity in order to preserve unity. In Manhigut Yehudit I see declared secularists, even atheists, and on the other hand I see Ultra Orthodox. On either side, saying the truth doesn’t scare them. I learned that when you speak the truth with conviction and humility, it doesn’t scare people away. Those who really listen can value it.
What do you think about Yair Lapid joining politics?
He’s a ratings candidate. Shelli Yechimovich’s candidacy I saw in a positive light, since she expresses a coherent philosophy, even if it’s dangerous in my opinion, and the impression I get is that she actually believes what she says. This is a type of politics that is absent in Israel, and I do not see this in Lapid. I certainly don’t see it in Noam Shalit, a man that did not contribute a thing to Israeli society but exacted a terrible price from it, and he’s coming into politics off the back of the fact that he was able to take a lot. Lapid and Shalit symbolize bad politics in my opinion. I’m more comfortable talking with an ideological enemy with a consistent philosophy.
Netanyahu knows that the map with the correct destination the country has to go in and will in the end arrive at, is in my hands and yours. Journalists always ask me why he’s so afraid of me, and the answer is that this is exactly what he’s afraid of. He knows very well and understands the potential of Manhigut Yehudit, seemingly even better than all of my voters. The fact is that the public is divided between those that love me and those that deeply hate me, but nobody’s laughing at me. Deep down, the public knows that there’s something very very real going on here.
Let’s see what happens baby! The guy can run, but he can’t hide! Let him run away. His little cronies will follow, but the nation of Israel will NOT.
Barak is heating things up
Ehud Barak understands that it will be very difficult for Netanyahu to grant him and his friends political refuge in Likud. So he’s started taking down outposts. Every week another outpost, and it’s done with brutality, with the goal being short political gain: the angrier the religious Zionists get, the more they’ll turn to Feiglin. This way, with low voter turnout, Feiglin may get more than 30% of the vote, and could even approach 40%.
Such a scenario would be a political earthquake for Netanyahu and he wouldn’t be able to accept a situation where Feiglin became such a threat. So there may be a scenario in which Netanyahu would split the Likud but keep the Likud name in that when he leaves, most of the faction if not all of it would leave with him. Since they would be able to keep the name “Likud” without the baggage of the party’s institutions or the danger of the “knitted kipot” taking over the party and its next Knesset list.
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.”
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.