MK Feiglin
MK FeiglinHezki Ezra

For the first time Likud head Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has publicly referred to MK Moshe Feiglin, leader of the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud. Feiglin has been a formidable force in the party over the past several years, but until now Netanyahu has chosen to ignore his membership in the Likud, and in the Knesset.

That changed Monday night at a meeting of party activists. Netanyahu introduced numerous ministers and MKs who sat on stage with him at the event in Petach Tikvah, and unlike in the past, made a point of introducing Feiglin, about whom Netanyahu said that he “always was full of surprises, many of them good. I appreciate this.”

Although Netanyahu has ignored him, Feiglin has certainly not ignored the Prime Minister, sharply criticizing him on most of his policies. It should be noted that Feiglin was supposed to be number 20 on the Likud list, but Netanyahu tried to engineer his being places only at number 36 on the list. Had that occurred, Feiglin would not have won a Knesset seat.

The sharp difference in views between Netanyahu and Feiglin is expressed on the future of Judea and Samaria, which Feiglin says should be annexed and where Arab residents should be encouraged with liberal financial aid to leave Israel.

Netanyahu has tried to maintain a centrist view, maintaining support for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria but leaving open the possibility of destroying many communities and expelling their residents. in order to create a PA state, leaving large blocs and Jerusalem in Israel's hands He previously has offered such concessions to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who rejected them out of hand as being insufficient.