Aug 13, 2007

Likud Primaries: supporting Feiglin

Tomorrow is the big day for the Likud. Tomorrow the Likud holds its primaries for leadership of the party. The candidates are front runner Bibi Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin and Danny Danon.

I am supporting Moshe Feiglin for leadership of the Likud.

Why am I supporting Feiglin? Many of you might think of Moshe Feiglin as an extremist, a Kahanist, a right wing fanatic, someone who wants to impose religion in the State of Israel, a supporter of a halachic state, etc. You will say I am supporting extremism and right wing fanaticism.

That is not true. The above descriptions are given to him by a media that rejects, and wants the public to reject, Moshe Feiglin's legitimacy.

Moshe Feiglin has no intentions for creating a halachic state. He has no desire to impose Jewish religion upon the secular citizens of Israel. He is not an extremist. He might be more right wing than some people like, but that does not disqualify him from anything, any more or less than someone more left-wing on the political spectrum.

Moshe Feiglin's desire and goal is to make Israel into a Jewish State based on Jewish goals and Jewish tradition. Most issues have nothing to do with that, such as his plan to pen the media to free broadcasting, in other words, anybody who wants a license to operate a radio station will get it. Not just the state controlled stations and left-wing stations (right now only one religious/semi right wing station is operating with a license) as has been the case until now.

Israel was founded with the purpose of being a Jewish State. Not just a democratic country in the Middle East open to anybody who wants using no specific culture. The country should be run with Jewish tradition and Jewish values at the forefront of all its decisions.

That does not mean he will force people to keep shabbos. Au contraire - Feiglin is against the shabbat laws. People, individuals, have the right to decide for themselves such things. But as a state, Jewish tradition and values must be at the forefront. Jewish values and history should be taught in all the schools.

If Jewish values are not the basis for Israel, than for what do we need Israel? It would just be another microcosm of America. We can have a better life in the real thing and pack up and go to the real USA. Forget Israel.

Israel should be based on Judaism. Moshe Feiglin is the only candidate who wants Judaism in Israel.

So why not support a religious party? Isn't that what they want? Feiglin has no chance anyways!

The religious parties never have had it in their agenda to lead the country. They are all sectoral. They all look at for their own small slice of life in Israel and worry about getting budgets for their constituents. That is important for those groups, but that does not put the Judaism and the faith back into Israel. We have even seen that to be the cause of much increased animosity towards the religious and religion.

Only Moshe Feiglin wants to put the Judaism back into Israel. Only Moshe Feiglin wants to lead and not just look out for his own neighborhood.

It is time we had a faith based leadership. We have tried all the rest. They are all drek. Each one is worse than the previous leader. One is more corrupt than the next. Without faith, without Judaism, they have all been leading us to the society of corruption, despair, defeat, failure that we see today. It is time for a faith based, and a Jewish based, leadership.

That is what Moshe Feiglin offers us. That is why I support Moshe Feiglin for leadership of the Likud. It is time for change.

When Ariel Sharon formed the Kadima party, he did so with great fanfare. Eventually he had his stroke and the Kadima party was taken over by Ehud Olmert. He led Kadima into the elections. I asked some friends why they were supporting Kadima, at the time.

They each responded that the old way clearly did not work and it was time to try something new. It was time for change. Kadima promised them change. Kadima promised them a new way.

Kadima was just another party being run by the same politicians who left other parties. Were they really offering something new or just the same old stuff packaged in a new logo? Clearly, in hindsight, they were offering nothing new.

If you want something new, packaging the old in a new wrapper is not the answer. It is time for something new. it is time for change. The old has been proven to not work. It is time for new, and Moshe Feiglin offers something new.


  1. rafi,
    whether you're correct or not in your view of feiglin's policies and the need for change - that is not the point of these elections!
    It is not a vote to activate a change in the country - it is a vote for the head of the likud party - specifically who will run for the likud in the next elections for the prime ministership.
    no matter what you think of feiglin - the majority of the country thinks of him as much too right-wing and too extreme.
    there is absolutely no question that if feiglin becomes the head of the likud (or even if he gets too much power within the likud) then in the next elections the likud will LOSE! and olmert/barak/etc. will become prime misister.
    but if bibi wins, then the likud has a good chance to win the elections.
    (whethere you like bibi or not he is better that olmert/barak)

  2. Rafi,

    you make it sound like no one in or out of Israel realizes that Israel is filled with Jews.

    I think the fact that everyone speaks hebrew, that saturday is the day off, that chanukah is the school vacation holiday, that thereare shabat laws, that you can't drive on yom kippur, that you have to go to dalyat al karmel to get pita on pesach...

    y'know, the more I think about it you're right, Israel is not recognized as a jewish country. Only an extremely orthodox jew can bring israel to a place where it is imbued with judaism.

  3. y - I disagree with that. This election is primaries for the leadership of the likud. the winner will be the Likud rep for PM in the next elections, whenever they may be. You might say, and I would likely agree with you, that if Feiglin wins (and his chances of this are small) the primaries, the Likud will definitely lose the general elections, and you would conclude from that that it is therefore better to vote now for Bibi to give the Likud a better chance later.

    You have a point.

    However, I believe a person should vote his conscience. Meaning if a person believes Feiglin is the best option, he should vote Feiglin even if it is a losing vote. When my friends voted for Marzel in previous elections, other people were upset at them because they claimed these people were wasting votes. While I did not vote Marzel and thereby hurting the right wing, I did not agree. I supported these people in their decision and told them they should vote Marzel even if they know he will not cross the threshhold, because that is whom they believed to be the best candidate. Same with any other candidate/party, in my opinion.

    So even if overall that means the Likud might end up losing, I still support Feiglin now.

    And anyways, if Bibi wins I think the Likud will lose as well. And even if not, do we gain anything from Bibi being PM? All he does, based on history, is implement left wing policy.... he was a great Finance Minister, but he was a horrible PM (for his supporters at least)

  4. Rafi,

    if you are talking about conscience, then i think that feiglin (and all his voters) should not be in the likud party at all. i take issue of someone joining a party with a different agenda and politics in order to "take it over from the inside".
    How many people joined the likud just in order to vote for feiglin, but in the general elections will vote for another party? that is voting your concience??!
    (also, i don't agree with you that a voter should just vote his concience and not take into account the next step or it's outcome. i think that all the marzel voters threw away their vote and did not "play teh democratic process" properly. that is what politics is about - you usually have to choose the best of the bad choices. you can't say "i'm only voting for the perfect Mashiach" and then throw your vote away because he isn't in the race. then you can't complain about the results.

  5. dan - the fact that Israel is filled with Jews is not the issue. It is whether the country is run with Judaism at its helm. Right now and in recent years it has simply been a country that happens to have a lot of Jews in it. Sure, shabbat is officially a day off. But that is only because that is how it has always been. The government has increasignly been doing more and more things on shabbat (some more understandably, some less). Along with more and more malls and stores being opened on shabbat. That indicates that that status of shabbat being the day off is slowly (or quickly) changing.
    Sure, in Ben Gurions day there was a Jewish charachter to the State. But today there almost is not. Studies show (I do not remember the exact percentages so I will generalize) that many Israeli children do not know the words to Shema. Many have not been to Jerusalem. Many do not know what Tisha B'av is (I recently was told by a secular co-worker that until he began working in this company which has a number of religious Jews, he never knew what Tisha B'av was. For him and his friends it was just a day to hang out - he said they had no idea about the destruction of the beis hamikdash and what it was about)

    there is no law against driving on yom kippur, nor do I think there is anybody proposing that there be one. That mioght be the reason why yom kippur is still overwhelmingly accepted even by secular Jews, while Pesach and banning chametz is not. Because the religious parties try to force that on the secular with laws, so they reject it and fight for the right to eat chamezt in public as they please.

    Feiglin is an Orthodox Jew, though I think he would hesitate to call himself "extremely" and most ultra-ortho would hesitate to call him "extremely". I suspect he would fit more into the category of modern orthodox, if he was being put into any category at all. The thing is, his orthodoxy is not the issue. It is his faith. We have been led by faithless people, and Israel, I think, now should try having a leader who has faith and belief in Judaism.

  6. I disagree with y.
    You are using the argument that Barak used in the labor primaries "Only I can beat bibi." In other words, he was not asking people to vote for him because he was a worthy candidate he was saying I'm the least of the 2 evils.

    I think someone who runs on the negativity of someone else is a bad choice, no matter what.

    If Feiglin does get more power in the Likud it will help the Likuds chances, not hurt them. He is bringing the Likud back to their original values, not the left wing spin that they were blinded with.

  7. I guess it all depends on how you define judaism, which I guess might be the real question behind 'what is a jew?'

    For you, and feiglin, judaism is shema and an observant shabat and faith in god, for the vast vast vast majority of jews, judaism is about family and history and culture and not about faith or law.

  8. 1. Fact: The more right-wing the Likud has been, the more mandates it received. As the Likud drifted away from supporting Eretz Yisrael, it lost more and more seats. Debate it all you like, but it's still a fact.

    2. Fact: What is the point of Netanyahu winning if he continues to implement the policies of the Left? Sharon led the Disengagement against the wishes of the Likud membership. Most of the trash left the Likud to Kadima. Netanyahu is trying to entice them BACK to the Likud. You want them back?

    3. Netanyahu wants to bring to YESHA the PLO Bader Brigade from Jordan. Dont we have enough PLO "police" in YESHA already? Your vote for Netanyahu will bring them closer.

    4. Netanyahu announced that as Prime Minister he would remove all the "anti Supreme Court" laws enacted by Prof Friedman, the Kadima current Justice Minister. In trying to appeal to the media, Netanyahu is placing himself to the LEFT of Kadima on the matter of reigning in the Judicial Activism of the Supreme Court.

    Moshe Feiglin is in favor is strengthening Israel's Jewish character...including the issues raised here of family and history and culture. Moshe's educational platform calls for the strengthening of these values -- additional hours of Jewish history and religion.

    Moshe calls for strengthening the Jewish family, not penalizing those with more than 2.3 children and a dog.

    Moshe will act to free the airwaves -- open up markets in radio and TV, open up competition in the news market (radio and TV news is currently REGULATED) and abolish the TV tax.

    A strong showing for Moshe Feiglin tomorrow is the BEST thing that can happen to the Likud...and even the best thing that could happen to Netanyahu.

    Even if Moshe does not win tomorrow's primary election in the Likud, it will be another building block in Manhigut Yehudit's effort to reclaim the State for Jews, Judaism...and even classical Zionism.

  9. I'll watch this election carefully. The more I find out about Feiglin, the more I like him.

  10. The problem as I see it Jameel is this: typically when someone of faith runs for office on the basis of their faith, when they win they tend to push for laws that promote their version of their faith.

    Is their no differnce between a jewish state or a jewish theocratic state? I believe that is the differnce between an Israel that stands with the western world or an Israel that becomes a jewish saudi arabia.

  11. dan g: First of all, you might be surprised that Manhigut Yehudit has many "secular" members.

    We aren't about promoting a theocracy, or a "medinat halacha"...but rather actively returning more Judaism to Israel.

    In light of the Post-Zionist Olso accords, Israel has been losing it's Jewish compass. Traditional Jewish values of settling Eretz Yisrael, supporting pioneers (everywhere in the land), have been steadily eroded.

    While an Israel led by Manhigut Yehudit would still be aligned with the western world in terms of many aspects of it's culture, I'm sure that some aspects would not. Building a better society with less violence, drugs, promescuity -- and a focus on social and Jewish values would do our country wonders.

    I welcome to read some of the thousands of articles on the manhigut website, written by religious and secular Jews.

    You can reach it via Moshe's website:

    Don't believe everything the media tries to sell you on Feiglin. Surprsingly, the JPost has the best headline of all today:

    "Feiglin promises revolution as Netanyahu begs people to vote"

  12. In Israel there are no direct elections for anybody on the national level. Thus, there is no accountability on the national level to the electorate.

    The closest the people can get to voting in their leaders is via the primaries.

    And since (last election aside) the Likud tended to be among the top two leading parties, the best way to influence and select the politicians who will be leading and accountable to you is via the primaries for a leading party.

    Sectorial parties like Meretz and Ichud Haleumi are not looking for leadership positions, they are looking to influence the leading parties, and under the current constellation is it good to vote for them in general elections.

    But if the Dati-Leumi want to take leadership positions and start setting the agenda (and there is no reason they shouldn't) they must move to national parties and deal directly with national issues and not remain in sectorial parties and deal with sectorial politics.

    The next election will be between left (Barak), far left (Olmert), and the shifting to the left when push comes to shove (Netanyahu) - unless Feiglin runs, and then it will clearly be Left vs. Right.

    And I think the country is fed up with the Left and their Kassams.

  13. y - I disagree. Maybe Marzel should not have run. Maybe he should have considered he would be wasting votes. However once he was running, people who wanted to vote for him because they feel he represents their beliefs and ideals, have that right and that is part of the democratic process. It did not work out so well? so what. How could these people vote for someone like Bibi when they really believe in Marzel? It is an internal contradiction and I have no problem with someone deciding to vote Marzel (or any of the other small parties that did or did not cross the threshhold on either side of the political spectrum).

    I also am hesitant to blame Marzel for the Right losing the elections. At most he wasted the equivalent of 1.5 seats. Even if the Likud would have gotten all those votes, they still would have lost the elections by a lot and would be in the opposition. Those seats would have done little to improve anybody's standing. Sure it was wasted, but they would not really have altered the election results.

    Also, other parties wasted the same amount of votes on the other side, so it really is a wash.

  14. dan - that is why there are a lot of parties. if you dont like this one, you can be a member of a different one that is more to your liking. And even if you like the Likud, the primaries are for different candidates to present their ideas. If they were all the same, there would no purpose for primaries. if you dont like feiglin, but like Likud, vote Bibi.

  15. dan - yes judaism is shema, in a sense. shema has always been a major part of Jewish culture. if young israelis nowadays are not familiar with the shema, which is the abc's of Judaism, that is a clear indication that these children are not being taught Jewish culture in general.

  16. he's back!!!

    life in israel II: with a vengeance

    now playing on a monitor near you.

  17. I don't know much about politics but I've read a bit about the goals and values of Manhigut Yehudit and I believe that to "to put the Judaism back into Israel" is something so important for all Jews (secular or religious) that they should learn and know more about their heritage. I see it as another step towards redemption (mashiach), whether he wins the vote or not, the ideas are out there and getting publicised.

  18. that's right. I have met with Feiglin a number of times and have gone to parlor meetings in which he spoke and that was a key goal of his. By his being involved in the Likud and running, even though his chances have always been slim and he has always lost (hopefully this time will be different), the opportunity was really to get his ideas out into the public and by his being a candidate he gets interviewed and his ideas get out into the public discussion.

  19. From what I have heard of him, I rather like Feiglin. His basic idea, of unapologetically asserting that Israel is the Jewish state, appeals to me.

    There was a Likud polling station downstairs from me; I had a fun walk through it earlier tonight.

  20. How would you relate to the statement that is being thrown around that Feiglin brought 9,000 people into the Likud and in this election he got 9,000 votes?
    If that statement is true it means that he has not convinced any Likudnikim that he is bringing back a return to Likud values.

  21. I am in the process of writing a post on that topic... hopefully I will finish it tonight or tomorrow...

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Rafi, I have been at a loss as to how to respond. It is as if we are speaking two different languages. The shema is only thought of as an important part of jewish culture by the orthodox and some conservative Jews. The idea that the gov't would make kids recite or appreciate a line that declares god's existence and his onneness is abhorrent and frightning to a secular jew (or christian as it applies in the states with intelligent design and 10 commandments etc...)

    As for Jameel, what you call promiscuity I call sexuality, one is a judgment on the value of other people's sexual choices, the other is acceptance of their sexual choices. I certainly don't want the gov't making a value judment on people's sexuality.

  24. nobody is talking about forcing children to say shma. I was using that as an indicator that many Jewish children in Israel are simply not being taught Jewish culture and tadition. Just because they do not have school on saturday does not mean they are recognizing Jewish culture.

    Maybe the Reform which is the biggest group in Judaism today in America (I only mention them because you brought up the sects of conservative and orthodox) do not recognize shma as being an important part of jewish culture. I do not know if that is true, but that is what you implied. Do you know that for a fact? I would possibly write to a reform rabbi and ask him his opinion on that statement.

    But even if it is true, so what. Reform has been around less than 200 years. Just because they cut out a ton of things from the Jewish tradition and culture does not mean that shma is not an important part of Jewish tradition.

  25. if Reform Jews eat pork, does that eschewing (not chewing - :-) ) pork (or at least learnign about the Jewish tradition against pork) is not important to Judaism?

  26. its not that the shema isn't recognized as an epitath that has existed for a long time, rather, the shema is put in its place as a line said on the high holidays or on shabbat....but definately not taught in school as the fundamental cornerstone of judaism. Instead the cornerstone of judaism is its humanity, its logic. The reform keep the good and strip out the bad. Granted that they have only been reinterpeting the laws for 200 years and not as long as the orthodox have but they have a focus on equal rights and acceptance. WHen they change or explain a rule it is typically to be more open and accepting,more liberal. The question isn't whether or not kids should ever know the shema exists or that 3000 yrs ago they decided its probably a good idea not to eat pig in the dessert, the question is do you want the gov't teaching that to your kids or not. And if you want the orthodox version taught when feiglin is in will you accept a humanist version being taught when a secular jew is in charge?
    gov't should not be teaching kids what it means to be a jew. That is aparents, family,freinds,community issue, not a public school issue.


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