Cold Feet–Why Israeli Voters Shouldn’t Get Their Fantasy Government

Haim Watzman The talk in the locker room at the Jerusalem Pool has been surprisingly conciliatory since the election last week. Dani, who voted Meretz (after seriously considering Hadash) and Siman, who voted Likud, agree that the next coalition should consist of the Likud, Kadima, and Labor, under Bibi Netanyahu’s leadership. When I pointed out … Read more

Bibi as Feiglin’s Figurehead

I ran into Moshe Feiglin at the end of the 1990s when I was covering the Temple Convention, an annual get together of groups on the far fringe of the Israeli right that want to build the Third Temple now, if not yesterday. In the lobby, Feiglin was passing out bumper stickers for his organization, Jewish Leadership. I asked whether the current leaders of Israel weren’t Jewish. He answered with a smirk that suggested, “You know better than that.”

Soon after that, Feiglin and company decided on a new strategy for their radical group: They would seek to take over the Likud. It was a crafty decision. A well-organized group acting as a block can have an outsized influence in internal party elections. Feiglin encouraged his supporters to become Likud members. (There was no need for them to vote for the party of the mainstream right in general elections.)

Feiglin is patient.

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Thanks to Our Readers

Readers’ notes in the last few days include these tidbits:

  • Moshe Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (“Jewish Leadership”) faction in the Likud, has been touring the U.S., speaking at synagogues such as Congregation B’nai Yeshurun in Teaneck. Manhigut Yehudit’s website includes a draft constitution in Hebrew with such features as a rabbinical council that could overturn all laws. In an interview with the fawning Jewish Press, Feiglin said that “There is no such thing as innocent civilians” and said that as prime minister he would have responded to the Merkaz Harav terror attack last month by acting against the attacker’s entire village. Feiglin’s support in the Likud comes entirely from the far-right activists he has signed up as party members, to the embarrassment of the rest of the party. But what are American congregations doing hosting someone who can be called, with understatement, a fascist?
  • Thank God for the farm lobby:

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