Feiglin: Despite Voting Tricks, I Scored a Great Achievement
Moshe Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish leadership) faction in the Likud party, spoke to Mark Kaplan who authors the Israelity! Video Blog, a regular feature on Arutz Sheva’s website.
The interview with Feiglin took place less than a week after he ran against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud. Feiglin won 25 percent of the votes. His supporters claimed that supporters of Netanyahu were found to be tampering with the election process in various ways.
Feiglin told Kaplan that even though he did not win the leadership, since his goal was to become a significant force in the Likud att his point, he feels like a winner because the results show that one out of every four Likud members believes in his ideology.
“Thank G-d there is one voice in Israel’s leading party that opposes the so-called Palestinian state and opposes what’s happening in Judea and Samaria – the destruction of outposts and so on,” he said.
“The fact that even though many votes were stolen from us, yet a quarter of the members of the Likud voted for me is a tremendous achievement,” Feiglin added.
He also noted that many of the votes he received were not “from home”, that is from rightwing Judea and Samaria, but rather from other areas in Israel.
“A quarter, maybe 20 percent of my voters came from the 'settlements',” Feiglin said. “All the others came from Bat Yam, Holon, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hadera – all over the country – and there is no more Manhingut Yehudit faction in the Likud. We have become a major part of the Likud, the second force in the Likud today.”
He pointed out some of the tricks that were played by the other side in order to get more votes but said, “We’re not crying about the past. Of course we’re going to investigate and we’re going to bring to court those whom we’ll be able to put our hands on. We’re not going to give up, not because we want a few more percentage points. We’re going to fight now in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen again next time.”
In recent weeks, there were calls among Likud members residing in Judea and Samaria not to vote for Feiglin. These included the head of the Likud’s national headquarters, David Zviel, who wrote a letter entitled “Moshe Feiglin, why we in the national headquarters called not to vote for you.”
In the letter Zviel wrote, “We must believe in you and certainly not be afraid of you. This kind of trust is bought with hard and gradual work: working with the members throughout the country, joining mayors and chairmen of branches, being elected to the Knesset. You do not jump in every four years and claim the crown.” There have been voices saying that Feiglin must serve in the Knesset to be a viable contender for national leadership, but he was prevented from election to the Knesset by moving him down to an unrealistic place on the party list using a technicality, although he was in a sure slot.
Feiglin criticized these comments and said, “Representatives of the founders of the Likud answered those in Judea and Samaria who opposed voting for me in the strongest terms, saying: The settlement enterprise might be lost because of you.”
“I scored my achievement,” he added, “but the achievement that could have saved the settlement enterprise was not made because of this internal war. These are not things that I’m saying, these are things that the founders of the Likud are saying.”