Here’s MK Moshe Feiglin of the Likud-Beiteinu faction, sittin’ pretty in the Knesset plenum hall during a new-member introduction day.
Feiglin has popularized the concept of religious Jews taking over the Likud leadership. He noted that in every Likud assembly, the benches are full of knitted yarmulkes and head scarves (seated separately, of course!), but on the dais the heads are uncovered.
His political group, Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership), which came to life in November 1995 to “return the country to the people and lead the State of Israel through authentic Jewish values,” enlisted as a proper Likud faction in 2000, and its members started registering en masse as Likud members.
Over the past 12 years, Feiglin was blocked once by the central elections committee, which claimed his demonstrations against Oslo, for which he sat in prison, constituted an offense that bears shame—mind you, it’s the same central elections committee that permits folks like Aryeh Deri, who spent time in prison for far less patriotic reasons, to run as party leaders.
He challenged Benjamin Netanyahu twice for party leadership, losing both times with more than 23% of the votes.
In 2008 his Jewish Leadership faction won the realistic 20th spot on the Likud list for the 18th Knesset, and Likud official MK Offir Akunis appealed his primary election and got him pushed down to the 36th spot.
Now, in 2012, with almost 27,000 primary votes, Feiglin came in 15th in the Likud primary, and 23rd in the combined Likud-Beitenu list, and this time no one could stop him.
So for now he’s relishing the victorious culmination of a 12-year fight.
Mazal tov, Mr. Feiglin, make us proud!