Sunday, August 12, 2007

Carving up the Center

One has to assume that Netanyahu is trying to “carve out the center” as his position. Of course that is no longer possible, as the center simply doesn’t exist. In the last election, instead of fighting Olmert and trying to differentiate his politics, Netanyahu chose to waste his energy fighting Moshe Feiglin, to show why he, Netanyahu wasn’t a real right-winger, but rather a centrist.

Congratulations, you proved you weren’t a right-winger and so therefore there was no reason to vote for the Likud anymore, was there?

Even now Netanyahu continues along the same path.

He toured the Binyamin region the other day, and discussed why Adam should be inside and not outside the fence. Wonderful, so Netanyahu takes a maximalist left-wing position, instead of, at least, a minimalist right-wing position.

The public is tired of this nonsense. If they want a Leftist, they’ll vote Left, but there is no reason to vote for a wishy-washy Right(?)-winger who will go Left anyway– and that is part of the reason why voter turn-out was so low in the last elections.

And that is really why Netanyahu is afraid of Moshe Feiglin.

It is not because the Left will attack Netanyahu as a right-winger, or the Likud as an extremist party, but because Feiglin is doing to Netanyahu, exactly like Feiglin did to Sharon in the Likud internal vote against the Expulsion. He is showing how empty Netanyahu’s position is, how unLikudlike his politics have become, and how Netanyahu is no longer in sync will the will of the Likud and the people.

That is what annoys Netanyahu, and that is why he is using every legal, but anti-democratic method he can to disqualify Feiglin from running against him.

When Feiglin speaks of a Jewish State, everyone jumps and says Taliban. And certainly after watching the Chareidim ban music concerts this week, people are definitely afeaid of what a Halachic state could be (I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a Chareidi Halachic state).

And that is the problem.

People hear sound bites that the media choose to present, but don’t actually hear the message that Feiglin is saying. Feiglin isn’t talking about a Halachic state, but he is talking about basing the Jewish state on Jewish values, not “universal humanistic” values (and we know what those are worth).

He is talking about reversing the lack of proper Jewish education and history that Jewish children in the public school system receive. He doesn’t say force them to think a certain way, but he certainly says they shouldn’t be ignorant of their own heritage and what they are doing in Israel.

He is talking about introducing Checks and Balances into the Court system.

Personally, I think it is time, right before the primaries,
for people to hear for themselves what Feiglin has to say, rather than what they hear from the talking heads.

Copied word for word from JoeSettler


Anonymous said...

I agree with almost everything Moshe Feiglin says and identify very strongly with the ideas of Manhigut Yehudit. But I think the way Moshe expresses himself - in the sarcastic, cynical, and biting tone is counterproductive to manhigut's goals.
Moshe constantly sharply attacks others who even agree with his goals but have different tactics. This, in my opinion, is not the way to build a manhigut yehudit. Yes, a leader needs to be firm, and self assured - but a manhig yehudi needs to also embody the concept of deracheha darchai noam.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations, you proved you weren’t a right-winger and so therefore there was no reason to vote for the Likud anymore, was there?"

No problem, all the right wing voters will simply vote for Mafdal/Ichud Leumi instead of Likud, like they did in the last election?... oh wait! they didn't. And they won't. There simply aren't that many people who are right wing in the sense you mean it.

You remind me of the left-wingers who can't understand how Kerry lost to Bush, because everyone THEY knew was voting Democratic.

As long as Feiglin plays the role of rejected minority in a large party, rather than leader of a small party, he and his followers will continue whining and deluding themselves instead of actually making a difference in Israeli society.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: Your understanding of Israel's parlimentary democracy is flawed. Only by election within the largest party can one lead Israel and create real change.

1. Feiglin is far from deluding himself, and we aren't whining at all. In fact, last week's election was a big win, not a loss (and I will write about that this week as well).

2. Small parties have close to zero influence. And if the manage to influence anything, it's sectarian based. The Jewish Leadership faction in the Likud is about changing Israel as a whole, and that can only be done from within the largest party in the Knesset.

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