Moshe Feiglin Seeks To Keep Bibi Right

Little-Known Insider Keeps Likud From Moving to Center

Man Behind the Curtain: Moshe Feiglin is not well known. But he is sometimes lampooned as the man who makes decisions for Israel’s ruling Likud party.
getty images
Man Behind the Curtain: Moshe Feiglin is not well known. But he is sometimes lampooned as the man who makes decisions for Israel’s ruling Likud party.

By Nathan Jeffay

Published August 05, 2012, issue of August 10, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

For Feiglin, however, party history means nothing when considered against God’s will and the Bible, as he understands them. To Feiglin, Netanyahu lacks the political will that comes from such convictions. The prime minister “could not get the train of Oslo to turn back…. He’s still on that train.” Switching transport metaphors, he describes Netanyahu as “a great pilot, flying nowhere.”

“When was the last time you heard a prime minister or even ambassador in London or New York saying these simple words: ‘This is our land’” he asked.

These are the words that propelled Feiglin, now 51, into politics. In 1994 he founded Zo Artzeinu (This is our land), a protest movement opposed to the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians. In the course of his anti-Oslo activism, he was arrested frequently for civil disobedience and indicted for sedition against the state. He was convicted and sentenced to 16 months in jail. This was commuted to six months of community service, which he spent helping in a retirement home.

In 1996, Zo Artzeinu evolved into the Manhigut Yehudit, which Feiglin led into the Likud party four years later. He saw this faction as his launching base for ultimately dominating the party. Feiglin led the campaign within the Likud against the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. Prior to his campaign for party leadership in February, he ran for Likud leadership in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Feiglin claims that it is not too late for Israel to change tack and take the approach it should have taken in 1967.

“The world would have cheered” had Israel asserted biblically ordained rights over the West Bank and Gaza and annexed the territories upon capturing them then, after the Six Day War, he claimed. The fact that international opinion took a different turn is Israel’s own fault. “You cannot complain to the world if you yourself don’t have the belief in what you are doing here, not only in Judea and Samaria, but also in Tel Aviv.”

If he ever gets to lead Likud and the country, Feiglin says, he will annex the West Bank and Gaza and give Palestinians residency but not citizenship. In his vision, this would bring about a unilaterally imposed peace. Feiglin has even thought about what he would do with the money saved by this resolution of the conflict.

“With the money that Israel throws [at] building bomb shelters around the Gaza Strip, on building fences, missiles against missiles, [it could be] investing that money on helping these people,” Feiglin said, referring to the Palestinians. They are, he claimed, “itching to emigrate” and would do so if given a grant.

“Over 10 years, half a million dollars could be invested in each Arab family in Judea and Samaria to help them find their future where most of them wish,” he said.

Contact Nathan Jeffay at jeffay@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.