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Israel’s Election

Israel is now entering a complex twilight zone. On the one hand, it is quite clear to all that the war that Benjamin Netanyahu waged against me caused the Likud to lose mandates. Conversely, no one but us dares to admit that the Likud suffered a defeat – and thus needs to implement the measures required to be taken. Everyone is dusting off their government suits and comforting themselves with the victory of the “right-wing bloc.”

 

Within a short time, lack of stability and the inability to implement policy will lead to new elections for the head of Likud. We must prepare ourselves for this upcoming battle for leadership of the Likud and of the State of Israel. The past two months have proven to all Likud members that a faith-based candidate does not repel voters. On the contrary – the Likud cannot win without him.

 

The battle for both the Likud leadership and our country begins today from a position totally different from our position two months ago. There is no doubt that forces larger and stronger than us will unite to attempt to defeat us. But reality will point time and again to the faith-based alternative. Reality will prove that only a faith-based leader can lead the Likud and the entire national camp to a decisive victory, and save Israel from the paralysis and self-destruction that Godless leadership has inflicted upon it.

 

If we analyze the polls taken from late November through the final results of the February 10 election, it is easy to see what led to the Likud’s slow but steady decline over the course of the election campaign.

 

In early November, Likud was almost 15 mandates ahead of Kadima. Over the next month, it continued its rise in the polls – until it was polling at 36 seats. In early December, when Netanyahu started his public campaign to demonize me, Likud dropped to 34 seats. After Likud’s December 8 internal election to determine its Knesset list put me in the 20th position (which meant that I would certainly be in the next Knesset), various polls showed Likud gaining as many as 38-40 seats. But only two days later, Netanyahu used dubious means to push me down to the 36th spot. After this maneuver, Likud’s polling numbers steadily declined; in the general election, Likud received only 27 seats.

 

What can we learn from these results?

 

First, we must notice the symmetry between Likud’s decline and the rise of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, and later of the National Union party.

 

Likud began to decline when it lost its rightist/nationalist hue as a result of Netanyahu’s battle against me. Nationalist voters were so discouraged by his actions that many flocked to Yisrael Beiteinu, mistaking Lieberman for a Land of Israel loyalist. Still others switched to the National Union party, a party of authentic Land of Israel loyalists. The discouraged nationalist voters chose these other parties even though having me (and other Manhigut Yehudit candidates) in the Knesset inside Likud would be the best chance we have to keep some semblance of control over Netanyahu. As we all recall, the only real fight against Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement (read “Expulsion”) from Gaza and Northern Shomron came from rebels inside his own Likud party.

 

From the beginning of December until the general election, Yisrael Beiteinu and the National Union, in aggregate, gained 11 mandates at the Likud’s expense. Likud could have – and should have – won at least 38 mandates in these elections.

 

Netanyahu talks a good game to the nationalist camp. In his “victory” speech he continually evoked God, and he even used Manhigut Yehudit’s own theme song during his rally. However, his statements (and actions) during the campaign demonstrated his desire to win by just a slim margin (which would leave him unable to govern effectively). He even preferred to lose the election – rather than be “weighed down” by such Manhigut Yehudit ideals as keeping the Land of Israel whole and injecting Jewish values into the running of the State of Israel. Unfortunately, Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to be free to continue the suicidal “peace” process.

 

The Jewish leadership alternative is not a luxury. It is a prerequisite for saving Israel.

 

For those of you who live in Israel, it is important to vote Likud and register for the  Likud. And no matter where you live, it is of utmost importance to pray for Israel and for the fulfillment of our Jewish destiny.

 

Join Manhigut Yehudit as we celebrate our Seventh Annual Dinner on Wednesday, March 11 at The Sands in Atlantic Beach, New York. Reservations are required. For information, visit www.jewishisrael.org or call 516-295-3222.

About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.


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