Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feiglin In The Press

Feiglin won't say 'I told you so,' but still blames Bibi for Likud coming in 2nd

Feb. 17, 2009

Moshe Feiglin was upbeat and on the move Tuesday evening, but that didn't stop the Likud dark horse and rival of party leader Binyamin Netanyahu from sounding off about his views on the recent elections and Likud's tight second place showing next to Kadima.
"I could say, 'I told you so,'" Feiglin said. "But what would that help? It's not my mind-set, and it's not relevant anymore. I'm moving forward."

Feiglin was voted into the party's 20th spot on its Knesset list after the December 2008 primaries, but was immediately pushed down to No. 36, after a petition was submitted against him by Ophir Ekonis, a close Netanyahu associate and No. 28 on the party's roster.
Feiglin asserted Tuesday that had he remained in his original place on the Likud list, the party would not be embroiled in its current struggle to cobble together a coalition, and Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu Party would not have taken away precious votes that had initially been on course for Likud.

"If you look at the polls from December, you'll see something amazing," Feiglin said. "On December 1, Likud had 35 mandates and Lieberman only had eight."

But after what he called Netanyahu's "war against Feiglin" - the shuffling of the Knesset list to push him further down, among other things - Likud dropped dramatically, Feiglin said.

"The National Union party didn't exist when Netanyahu began attacking me," he said. "But as soon as he did, Lieberman started going up and Likud started going down, and the National Union reappeared. So you do the math - Lieberman had eight mandates on December 1, and the final results gave him 15. Those were seven seats that should have gone to Likud. Take that, plus the National Union's four seats, and it's clear. If Bibi Netanyahu had stayed home from August until the elections, Likud would have received around 38 mandates in the recent election."

Nonetheless, Feiglin said he had big plans for the future.
"I'm going to run for chairman of the Likud Party," he said. "I think that people within the Likud Party understand exactly what happened. They all know the story. I think my chances are good, and of course, with God's help, I think I'll do quite well."
Feiglin originally ran for the Likud premiership in 2005 and placed third with 12.5 percent of the vote, behind MK Silvan Shalom and Netanyahu. In the August 14, 2007 primaries, Feiglin nearly doubled his previous showing and received 23.4% of the votes to Netanyahu's 72.8%. Netanyahu, fearing a strong showing by Feiglin, tried to have him ousted from the party prior to the vote, and has said he will continue such efforts.

But that has yet to scuttle Feiglin's attempts. Asked when he plans to begin his campaign, Feiglin said he would get started as soon as the next Likud primaries were on the horizon.

"And I think they're going to take place much sooner than you'd expect," he said.

The Likud's Shimon Peres

By Moshe Feiglin

8 Shvat, 5769
Feb. 12, '09

Translated from the article in Makor Rishon

The simplest way to define what happened in Israel's elections is: The Right won and the Likud lost.

The Right's clear win is not surprising. Ehud Olmert provided Israel's citizens with all the incentive they needed to vote Right. But the greatest surprise is without doubt the Likud's searing defeat.

It takes extraordinary talent to take the ruling party of the national camp from its height of nearly 40 Knesset mandates in the beginning of December - leading the collapsing Kadimah by 15 mandates - (all figures based on the Uzit average of weekly polls prior to the elections) and to lose to Kadimah just two months later.

True, it seems that Netanyahu's chances to nail together a coalition seem better. But even if he does succeed - and I am far from sure of that - it will be a short-term national paralysis government, at best. Even when Netanyahu had scored a clear victory over the Left in the past, he did not know how to translate this majority into concrete policy change that would steer Israel on a steady, nationalist course. Now that the Likud has lost and Netanyahu's power is dependant on Lieberman, his ability to lead Israel to make the changes vital to its survival are basically nil.

The other possibility is, of course, a national unity government. I have written many times that a national unity government essentially creates a monopoly of ideas, neutralizing the voters' choice. When corporations do that for money, it is called a cartel and their directors go to jail. When politicians do it for power, it is called "unity" and they go to the prime ministerial residence.

But even if we momentarily ignore the problematic nature of the unity government, it is clear that in the best case, this government would be paralyzed. It would not be capable of negating the rationale of Oslo retreat and destruction when Oslo's inventors and proponents would be the bulwark of the government.

The solid nationalist Jewish majority in Israel has lost its ability to rule. That is due in large part to the fact that it did not have the wisdom to establish a clear, Jewish alternative to the anti-Jewish agenda of the Left. But in these elections, this fundamental problem has taken on a new political expression. The Jewish majority grew even more, but its ruling party lost.

It is not complicated to analyze the reasons for the Likud defeat. The graph of the polls shows exactly where the Likud began to lose ground. We will leave this issue aside for the purposes of this article. But the simple fact is that this is the third straight loss for the Likud under Netanyahu's leadership:

In the elections of '99 the Likud under Netanyahu plunged from 32 to 19 mandates.
In the elections of '05, the Likud under Netanyahu nose-dived from 38 mandates to just 12. And now, from wall-to-wall predictions of a clear victory for the Likud, Netanyahu has led the party to defeat by Kadimah.

The first defeat could possibly be explained as the result of extreme media bias against Netanyahu. The second defeat could possibly be explained by the fact that Sharon had just created the Kadimah party. But this third, resounding defeat has no explanation other than Netanyahu's problematic personality. In fact, the only time that Netanyahu ever won an election was against Shimon Peres. Now it seems that the ruling party and leadership tool of the national camp has gotten stuck with a "Shimon Peres" of its very own.

This is not just the Likud's problem or an intra-party question. It is a question of the Jewish majority's ability to shake off the Oslo mentality, lead the nation on a Jewish path and save Israel from the agony of the auto-immune plague that we know as Oslo.

The Winner Lost, The Loser Won

By Shmuel Sackett

A donor of ours called me last week. He asked, "Shmuel, can you please explain exactly what happened in these elections?"

I said, "Sure, it's really quite simple. The winner really lost and the loser really won. But the loser who won - might still lose -because the winner who lost can re
ally be the winner after all and not the loser. SIMPLE!"

When you think about it, this election "logic" is used all the time. On election night, BOTH Tzippy Livni and Bibi Netanyahu gave victory speeches. If you find that hard to believe consider this:
After the Lebanon II war, BOTH Olmert and Nassralah gave victory speeches.
After the recent "Cast Lead" war (excuse me, Cast Lead CAMPAIGN) BOTH Israel and Hamas gave victory speeches.

In short, here in Israel we are used to both sides winning.
Nobody loses - every body goes home happy.
What's wrong with THAT?

Actually, in all seriousness, Moshe Feiglin had the best comment of the night. After looking at the election results he said, "The Right-Wing won but Likud lost." Nothing more needs to be said. The nation went to the right (even though I am NOT convinced that Lieberman is "right") but Bibi - in his desire to grab the "Center" - drove away HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of voters for Likud. He completely ignored the mood of the Israeli people. He completely ignored his own party. He read the political map in Israel completely wrong.

Consider this: A poll taken last week by the Jerusalem Post shows that 30% of Jews in Israel consider themselves "Right", 13% "Center-Right", 24% "Center", 13% "Center-Left" and 6% "Left" (the rest are "undecided"). What did Bibi do during these elections? He virtually IGNORED the 43% (Right and Center-Right) and focused all his energy on the 24% (Center). This was the SAME group that Tzippy Livni was going after!

The ace that he had in his hand - MOSHE FEIGLIN - could have given him a LANDSLIDE VICTORY. All this nonsense about who really won would have never been discussed! It would have been a clear, large victory for Likud.

While people already know this, they can easily forget it and therefore, it is our job to keep reminding them of this point. The 100,000 members of Likud must know that Bibi LOST the elections and damaged Likud. Moshe wrote an article, which appeared in last week's Makor Rishon newspaper that calls Bibi, "The Shimon Peres of Likud". As you recall, Peres lost every election he ever ran and became known in Israel as "The LOSER". Moshe has started pointing out that this is the THIRD election that Bibi LOST for Likud (to Barak in 1999, to Sharon in 2006 and now in 2009) and that the members of Likud have to stop their "love-affair" with this perennial loser.

We must continue to strengthen ourselves, sign up new members and show the Likudnik's that a real, strong and viable alternative is available. His name is Moshe Feiglin and he will Likud to VICTORY!

Stay tuned folks. ALL political commentators in Israel (and I am not exaggerating - I really mean ALL of them!) are saying that new elections will be held in ONE year! This means another round of Likud primaries for BOTH the Chairman and Knesset slate plus general elections will be held VERY soon. Of course, we will be at the forefront of those battles.

Therefore, cancel your vacations and retirement plans. We need you to get to work and make this dream a reality!