Feiglin: Cracks Forming in Sharon's Plan

The head of the Likud's Manhigut Yehudit faction says that cracks are forming in Sharon's disengagement strategy. Feiglin is sure the plan won't be implemented, and plans to run for PM himself.

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, | updated: 14:32


Feiglin was interviewed on Israel National Radio’s Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher Show Monday.

The Manhigut leader commended former Minister of Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky for quitting the government earlier this week, and praised MK Aryeh Eldad for calling for civil disobedience. Feiglin also explained why he is confident that the “faithful” sector of the public will not only win the battle for Gush Katif, but is poised to lead the nation.

“I had a very good feeling during this Pesach (Passover),” Feiglin said. “When you are in the Likud and closer to the decision-making circles, you see what’s going on. I am telling you that there are very serious cracks forming in these circles… It is much harder for Sharon and his gang than we think.”

“Can you be more specific?” asked Eli Stutz.

“The most important thing to understand is that at this point – Pesach of the Hebrew year 5765 – according to their schedule, most of the settlers in Gush Katif should already have been signed up to leave,” Feiglin said. “They built their whole plan based on the Yamit example. In Yamit the people left with no struggle. It was only people [who later came to protest] from Karnei Shomron, Beit El, Ofrah – the Gush Emunim people – who fought on the rooftops in Yamit. The original Yamit settlers took the money and left. [The government] was sure that the same story would happen over here - but it is not happening.”

Feiglin claims that what worries Prime Minister Sharon most is the knowledge that he will not win the next election. Feiglin said Sharon “knows that even if, G-d forbid, his plan succeeds, he is going to face an election right after, which he understands he is going to lose.”

“I don’t so much want to get into the fine details," Feiglin said, "but I am just telling you and your listeners that there are many cracks, and what happened with Sharansky is yet another crack…This is the time to push – we have to keep on fighting very strong now.”

Fleisher asked why all the "cracks" in the establishment, from the Chief of Staff to the head of the General Security Service - both of whom have criticized the withdrawal and will soon leave their positions - have not trickled down to the media.

“In the end, you will see cracks there too,” Feiglin responded. “When they understand that they have already lost the game, they will start to interview you and me and they'll stand on the right side. Look, we all know what the Israeli media is made of – it is controlled by the most extreme and dangerous leftists in the country. Don’t expect anything else from these guys. Don’t forget that they supported the Oslo process that brought the most terrible bloodshed upon Israeli civilians since 1948. Did they learn the lesson now? No, they are behaving the same way they behaved with Rabin and Arafat today. These very small circles of Israel’s population – just one to three percent - control Israel’s media and the Supreme Court. I don’t fear them and I don’t consider them as people that I need to convince. They will never be convinced and at any opportunity they will bite again. This battle we simply need to win – they need to be defeated, not convinced.”

Civil disobedience, the long-time rallying cry of Moshe Feiglin’s original anti-withdrawal protest movement, Zo Artzeinu (‘This is Our Land’), has recently been called for by Knesset Member Professor Aryeh Eldad (National Union). Feiglin says he is happy to see the key tactic of non-violent civil disobedience gaining acceptance.

“I am in contact with Professor Eldad,” Feiglin said, “and I’ve met with him a few times. I think what he said is very, very important. Until Aryeh Eldad said what he said, the only political voice speaking about civil disobedience was Manhigut Yehudit. The only voice that spoke in favor of blocking roads was Manhigut Yehudit. Slowly but surely, you will see that more and more political figures will join these ideas.”

The tactical methods of preventing withdrawal from Gaza and the northern Shomron are not what concern the seasoned activist most, though. “What I am afraid of is not that we will lose – I believe that with G-d’s help we will win. What I am afraid of is what will happen after. If, after we win this battle, we again get a leader like [former Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu - whom we got after we won the election of ’96, after Oslo, when we thought all our problems were solved – we will again find ourselves at square one. We will again find that someone who we voted for and are happy with, who we brought to power to save us, will tell us, ‘What can I do? It's a decision that was already made, it's a law, the whole world is expecting of us, we need the United States’ backing’ and so on.”

“More important than the battle of Gush Katif is what comes after, and that is what Manhigut Yehudit is working on. We need a strategic change, not just a tactical one – not just putting out another fire.”

“So what is to be done?” asked Stutz.

“In another half a year – six, seven, eight months maximum – there are going to be primaries to see who is going to be the leader of the Likud,” Feiglin said. “At these primaries, 150,000 Likud members – the exact same people who voted a year ago in the referendum – meaning good Likudnikim, those who won the referendum a year ago – are going to decide who is going to be the next leader of the Likud and basically who is going to be the leader of the Jewish State of Israel. As of now, only two people have declared their intention to run for leadership of the Likud – one of them is Ariel Sharon, and the other one is speaking to you right now.”

Feiglin's dream for victory in the Likud primaries is to reach the homes of these 150,000 people. "If the 'faithful' public goes and meets them face to face, then miracles happen,” Feiglin said. “If you remember what happened before the referendum a year ago – the polls were showing Sharon would win 70% to 30%. In two weeks it changed and he lost by 40% to 60%. Nothing like this ever happened in the history of democracy. Why did it happen? Because when the 'faithful' public met the national public [in the door-to-door campaign - ed.], everything changed.”