Feiglin Launches Bid for Likud Leadership
Moshe Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction, will launch his bid to lead the ruling Likud Party on Tuesday at the Ramada Renaissance Jerusalem Hotel.
Feiglin's campaign will make use of social media and networks to distribute a series of videos calling for judicial reform in Israel and highlighting the close relationship between sitting Likud leader Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his former IDF commander, Defense Minister Ehud Barak. His platform is based on ensuring that Israel is a clearly Jewish state, with Jewish values and mores.
The campaign will hammer away at the irony of a nationalist government having a left-wing Defense Minister who seeks to dismantle Israel's settlement enterprise and the phenomenon Feiglin refers to as "cloning judges", where judges are able to choose those with identical views due to the makeup of the Judicial Selection Committee – with the slogan of returning the legal system to the people.
In the 2007 Likud primaries, Feiglin came in second in the contest for party leadership - after Netanyahu and before firebrand MK Danny Danon.
In the 2008 Knesset elections, Feiglin ranked 20th on the Likud list and was well within the number of MK's elected to the Knesset. However, a petition by MK Ophir Kunis, a close associate of Netanyahu, demanding a woman in the 20th spot, was accepted by the Likud's court and pushed Feiglin out of the Knesset by dropping him to the 36th seat on Likud's list after the fact.
Political observers widely viewed the move as a sign of fear on Netanyahu's part due to Feiglin's strong showing in 2007. Some said it was motivated by the desire to make the right-wing LIkud seem more centrist so as to compete with Kadima and convince the west that Netanyahu is willing to make peace.
While the post-election move to drop Feiglin so far down the list he could not be seated was widely decried as 'dirty pool' by Feiglin's supporters, he refused to appeal the decision.
At the time Feiglin told Arutz Sheva, "I have no faith in Israel's judicial system."