Netanyahu: Feiglin wasting right-wing votes

PM says Zehut party taking 1 Knesset seat from Likud, 1 from New Right, could cost the Right its majority by failing to cross threshold.

Gary Willig ,

Moshe Feiglin
Moshe Feiglin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot ignore the relative success of the Zehut party in the polls. In a closed conversation with his people, he said that he held in-depth Likud surveys that analyzed where Feiglin's votes are coming from.

According to Netanyahu, polls show that Feiglin's libertarian-leaning Zehut faction is taking one seat from the Likud and one from Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's New Right party.

According to a report by Kan 11, Netanyahu is concerned that Feiglin will not succeed in passing the threshold, thereby wasting at least two seats for the right-wing bloc. The report also shows that Netanyahu counts Feiglin's mandates as mandates of the right-wing bloc.

Feiglin has been careful not to declare who he intends to support after the elections and only agreed to say that he will recommend to the president the candidate who gives him the most of what he believes in.

Feiglin said in an interview with Ynet that he was interested in two ministries that are currently in the hands of those who appear to be natural partners of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He said he wants the education portfolio, which is currently held by New Right leader Naftali Bennett, and the finance portfolio, which is currently held by Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon.

When asked what the two things he would like to promote in his first two years as a government minister, Feiglin said, "What we believe will be a basic condition for entering the government is the legalization of cannabis, because people here simply die suffering because this is not legalized. Beyond that, my loyalty to the Land of Israel is open and clear and absolute."

When asked how he changed his image as an extreme Likudnik to a liberal with support from many young people, Feiglin replied: "Freedom, freedom. I want to explain something. When I went out 20 years ago and blocked roads because of the Oslo Accords, which I was completely right about, by the way, since we saw where those agreements led. The essential point was the understanding that the state belongs to the citizen, not the citizen to the state. They cheated me, cheated me, took me to one place when they promised me the opposite. The state is supposed to be mine. I am not supposed to be the state's. It is that same sense of freedom we have expressed over the last 20 years that we have expanded to the areas of education and the free market. I think that the young people feel that there is a party here that promises freedom, which returns their country to them."