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The Rise Of Faith-Based Politics

Note to readers: The following interview is a translation of Moshe Feiglin’s recent interview by Israel National News. The interview followed Knesset opposition leader Tzipi Livni’s warning that if the laws requiring 1) a Knesset hearing for candidates for Israel’s Supreme Court and 2) the prohibition of foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs would pass, Israel would be plunged into a “dark Feiglinite dictatorship.”

Why did Tzipi Livni choose you, specifically, to describe a dark dictatorship?

Manhigut Yehudit is the standard-bearer in the struggle against the judicial dictatorship [in Israel], and the first to highlight this problem. I assume that this is why Livni used my name.

When did you begin to understand that there must be a struggle against the Supreme Court?

I have been writing about it for over 10 years. The Supreme Court judges, particularly, and the entire judicial system, do not represent the public. There is an internal illness in the system, both in its method and principles. This has created the situation that we have today, in which extreme leftists perpetuate themselves in the most important positions in the system and force their opinions on the public.

The Makor Rishon newspaper [recently] publicized an amazing poll by the Maagar Mochot research institution that shows that only 14 percent of the public thinks that the Supreme Court represents the nation. In other words, there is an absolute majority of the public that feels that the Supreme Court does not represent it. This is a terrible lack of faith. And then those people trying to rectify this terrible situation are accused of being dictators. Ridiculous.

Do you think that the legislative proposals [regarding a Knesset hearing for Israeli Supreme Court candidates and the prohibition of foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs] are a step in the right direction?

Certainly. I am also pleased that the MKs who initiated these laws are those who Manhigut Yehudit endorsed for the Knesset. Both our ideological policies and the candidates that we chose have triggered change – and the Left is feeling the heat.

Opening the Likud to the faith-based public on one hand and presenting a faith-based alternative for the leadership of the party on the other have created a new reality. The faith-based public internalized that the Likud is its arena, entered it en masse, and influenced its Knesset roster. Most of the faith-based legislation being proposed in the Knesset is coming from within the Likud and not from sectarian parties. This is how it should be, and I see it as a great success.

You are saying that these legislative proposals are actually the fruits of your labors?

Absolutely. We worked hard to bring these ideas up for public debate in the first stage and did a lot of politicking in the next. I have no doubt that just as we have realized the dream in these two initial stages, we will also achieve leadership of the Likud and the state.

Do you think that in the upcoming elections your chances to be elected to the Likud roster and the leadership of the Likud are better?

Certainly. Our ideas are trickling down. Ideas that in the past were considered taboo and extreme, like the tyranny of the Supreme Court, are now being discussed, even by journalists with a leftist tilt. In addition, the faith-based public has entered the political leadership arena. These two factors will ultimately lead to faith-based leadership. It’s a process and I do not know exactly when it will happen but I firmly believe that we are making progress toward that goal.

[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu cannot play a trick on you like he did last time?

Netanyahu is really doing all that he can to govern from within the confines of the current consciousness. I am talking about the next stage, after the consciousness changes. At that stage I believe that the public will demand Jewish leadership. I believe that we are nearing that point.

Do you believe that secular people can also join in the faith-based consciousness?

Even now, some of our oldest and strongest members are people who do not define themselves as “religious.” I believe that more and more non-observant Jews will be joining us. When you present ideas that are true, people of all sorts connect to them. By the way, Manhigut Yehudit also has quite a few ultra-Orthodox members. We are a very interesting synthesis. We do not represent a particular sector, but the entire Jewish majority that understands that if we don’t have a Jewish state, we will have no state. Believe me, people who are not observant understand this at least as well as those who are observant.

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