Editor’s note: The following are translated excerpts from an interview with Moshe Feiglin on Army radio.
Do you think Netanyahu has to go?
I think that he should have gone in 1996 when he hugged Arafat and bound us all to the Oslo Accords. He has to go for strategic reasons. That’s why I joined Likud, that’s why I ran against him in Likud, and that’s why, when I understood staying in Likud wouldn’t help, I left.
But something bothers me very much. If Netanyahu’s name were Shimon Peres or Ehud Barak, none of these affairs would ever have been publicized or investigated. This is not about corruption. It’s about politics.
I am not making light of the accusations. As an MK, I fought against real corruption and if these accusations about Netanyahu are true, it is very serious. But we have to put everything in its proper perspective. Regarding the Walla news site accusations:
Netanyahu is being accused of paying out taxpayer money in order to change the political leaning of a particular news site. Hasn’t all public broadcasting had a particular political leaning for the past 60 or 70 years? How much did that cost?
Let’s look at it from a different angle. Until not long ago, Shelly Yehimovitz was the head of the opposition. How did she achieve that status? She had the public broadcast microphone, not of the Walla news site, but of the most popular radio show in Israel – for years. That was paid for by the taxpayers.
All that Netanyahu did here – and it is not proper – is to try to steal the horses back. Actually, Netanyahu is being accused of doing what the Left has been doing for the past 70 years.
Maybe that’s the problem. Instead of changing the method, he simply chose to preserve the method and to take the reins into his own hands.
I totally agree with you. What Netanyahu really should have done was completely detach the state from the media. For example, close the Army Radio station. Since when does the army broadcast to citizens? Any citizen who wants to broadcast should be able to pay for a license – not for a franchise, but for a frequency – and legally broadcast.
If Netanyahu had done that, he would have had tens of radio and television stations broadcasting with a more rightist affinity, because most of the public is rightist. Then he would not have had to give money to Walla.
Instead, he thought that he would simply do what the Left has been doing for years. He forgot, however, that what is acceptable behavior for the Left – is intolerable for the Right.
We have a recording from our own station of an interview with special advisor to the police Lior Horev in January 2017, in which he says that before the elections, there was message-coordination between the Labor and Yesh Atid parties and Israel’s popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper. That is taped evidence of apparent corruption. And there are many more examples. There is selective enforcement taking place here against Netanyahu.
Please note that all the corruption that Netanyahu is suspected of has to do with the fact that the state interferes in our lives. It is part of the media, interferes in the economy, interferes in religion and state issues – in almost every area of our lives.
The State should only be responsible for security – internal and external – and justice. That is all. If anybody can broadcast, there is no need to bribe particular media outlets to publicize certain information.
There is another major point that nobody is talking about. What with all the accusations against Netanyahu, have you noticed that he did not take any money? No envelopes with money like Olmert and others. What he did try to do repeatedly was use the same old rotten system to his advantage. That is bad and if he is guilty of that, he must go. But we must keep things in perspective and, first and foremost, remove the state from our lives.
It is ironic that what he did not invest time and effort into accomplishing will ultimately topple him.
Let it topple him. Let him go home over open media for all. I’d like to add one more comment. The fact that the public broadcast has to include your one rightist broadcasting slot just proves that all the rest is leftist.
Not only do they have one rightist slot, but they are constantly threatening to close it.