Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Netanyahu's Challenge

Despite the echelons and media of Israel who outright bemoan that "right wing" people make up the Likud's list for the upcoming elections, Israel's public seems impervious to the lambasting criticism. In fact, in national polls done after the Likud election results were announced, the Likud has either stayed the same in terms of electoral seats in the Knesset, or even gained a seat.

It's clear that the people of Israel want a right-wing government, a right-wing Likud, or at a minimum, they aren't scared off by leftist yollering that the country is doomed if Moshe Feiglin and those who rejected Sharon's Disengagement plan are in the Knesset.

The problem is Netanyahu.

Instead of bothering to read the Likud's pro-Eretz Yisrael platform, or respect the will of the Likud membership, he is trying every dirty trick possible to ensure Moshe Feiglin is evicted from the Likud's list -- or at least relegated to a spot where his Knesset entry would be unlikely.

If Netanyahu, G-d forbid, succeeds in removing Feiglin from the #20 spot on the Likud's list, my prediction for the Likud is dire.

Right now, the Likud has an excellent list of candidates. Were Netanyahu to continue to his attempts to oust Feiglin, I predict he will lose support to the tune of the Likud's majority over Labor and Kadima.

Netanyahu: Just accept the fact that Feiglin's #20 on your list, and join forces to win the election. Pandering to the left and the media will seriously backfire.

Additional Links to ponder:

Ben-Chorin's post primaries analysis and how Netanyahu will try to force Feiglin off the list.
Netanyahu attempts to oust Feiglin at all costs. (YNET)

Lastly, this sycophantic op-ed article from Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg (Stop the Occupation).
If we go back a few decades, we'll see that the members of religious Zionism were raised on the principle of "integration." Most of us, who grew up in mixed cities, in religious high schools and in the Bnei Akiva youth movement, were brought up to study a profession and assimilate into the state's institutions: The army, the legal system, academia, various commercial companies, etc. To integrate out of a desire to be part of the Zionist project called the State of Israel.

We were not sent on a jihadist mission to make a point to someone or to spread a message. But simply to fit in, to be equal-right partners, to build something together and to bring to this "togetherness" our own special ingredients.
What Shapira-Rosenberg fails to realize is that the "religious Zionist" movement in Israel is not seen as an equal partner (nor has it ever been). While she may like to naively believe that religious Zionism is accepted as equal right partners, the fact of the mater is totally the opposite. Religious Zionist schools in Israel cost a fortune compared to regular Israeli -- both secular public schools and Chareidi Ultra Orthodox schools. Only the "religious Zionists" are politely not given the same funding (despite paying equal taxes as secular, working parents, and despite serving in the IDF).

In fact, if Shapira-Rosenberg thought about Feiglin in the Likud for more than a knee-jerk reactionary second, she would realize that the ideal place for national-religious politicians is IN the Likud! Where else can we help lead the country? Shape the country's future? From a NRP Beni Akiva snif in Givat Shmuel?

We are not embarrassed to say we want to lead Israel.

Shapira-Rosenberg's scary diatribe against us is a result of shame and programming that religious Zionists are not meant to lead, but be led.

PS: For those of you who want to read more about Moshe Feiglin's actual answers to questions -- its all here at ynetnews (and in English). On the Hebrew ynet article, there are over 700 talkbacks, the vast majority of them are positive.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

I think the Netanyahu-Feiglin rivalry adds some spice to the Likud party and is a good thing (for them) so long as it doesn't get out of porportion

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Not that I understand Israeli politics well, but KUDOS to you for pointing out these imprtant issues. I don't think (my opinion) that the general chutz laaretz frum jew (like myself) truly realizes how imortant the Israel is in our physical and spiritual existance. Like you always sign of, the land is very VERY good!

Anonymous said...

I think there are a few ways to explain centrist attraction to Feiglin-- aside from believing in his platform, which plenty of Likudniks may very well support.

First, Feiglin does not seem to be filtering himself-- only saying what he thinks will make him popular. Feiglin, at least, is honest and direct, saying exactly what he thinks and letting the chips fall where they may. I admire that character, even though our politics are distant. Bibi, on the other hand, is as establishment as you can get-- along with all of the baggage that carries.

I also suspect that a lot of supporters are simply excited for anything that will give the Likud a shot in the arm and make it seem viable and interesting again, per Shimon's above comment.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shimon: Feiglin's entry into the Likud is exactly what the Likud needs -- if its serious about being a pluralistic, center-right party.

Lakewood Falling Down: My pleasure :)

Friar Yid: Agreed. His interview on YNET is also shocking so many people who viewed him as the devil incarnate because that's the way the media always painted him.,7340,L-3636401,00.html

Anonymous said...

one thing thats funny about this whole situation that noone seems to have mentioned is

the world can deal with the likud having responsively the ``rebels`` thats the price-tag politically for the disenagagement and amona beatings

but that is not the discussion that gideon saar got to be in likud that is do-able

but for feiglin is the issue which proves one thing

that they might be all be great and right

but only one person is threatening the policy and oligarchy of the extreme left

that is feiglin tells u what is realy going on with the likud list

in short noones scared of the other ``rightwingers´´´but of feiglin

Anonymous said...

Jameel, get real. Of course everything you say is correct. But you leave out the main thing: Feiglin totally believes and openly states not just "right wing" positions, which would be fine, but also that the State of Israel must become a Torah State led by true believers. Everyone knows that "emuni" is not just "faith" or being a God fearing Jew, but subscribing to Moshe Feiglin's positions. Anyone who disagrees with him is not "emuni" by definition...

There is of course nothing essentially wrong with this, other than the fact that it is utterly alien to the Likud and to the masses of the Israeli public. If Feiglin wants a "Torah" or "Judaism" party they already exist. Or let him set up his own.

Lurker said...

Anonymous @ 10:32 PM: Jameel, get leave out the main thing: Feiglin totally believes and openly states not just "right wing" positions, which would be fine, but also that the State of Israel must become a Torah State led by true believers...
There is of course nothing essentially wrong with this, other than the fact that it is utterly alien to the Likud and to the masses of the Israeli public. If Feiglin wants a "Torah" or "Judaism" party they already exist.

Instead of attributing all sorts of things to Moshe Feiglin that he doesn't believe and never said, why don't you take Jameel's suggestion, and pay attention to what Feiglin actually does say? If you had bothered to read the Ynet interview, you would see that you are completely and totally wrong:

[From the section entitled 'Separate religion from State']

Q: What should be the Rabbinate's place in Israel's leadership?

A: "It should be in no way involved in politics."

Q: Should the laws of the Torah become the laws of the State?

A: "I am thoroughly opposed to the idea of a Halacha state. I do want to see the laws of the State reflect its national values, however."

Q: What is a Jewish state in your opinion?

A: "A Jewish state is a state that has adopted Jewish values as its fundamental values... It means being faithful to all of the sacred values thanks to which we have continued to exist, returned to Israel, and established this State."

Search the Muqata


Related Posts with Thumbnails