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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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Feiglin Says Rivalry with Netanyahu Is Over, But Two-State Solution Could Split the Party

The relatively new religious leaders on the Likud roster owe some of their status to Moshe Feiglin's relentless efforts to make the party more traditionally Jewish.

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The Likud's top 35 candidates approach the stage as the results of the Likud primaries are announced (Nov. 26, 2012).

The Likud's top 35 candidates approach the stage as the results of the Likud primaries are announced (Nov. 26, 2012).
Photo Credit: Flash90

Beny Begin is as right-wing as they come, but it has been speculated that the role he has played in the negotiations with settlers destined to be uprooted, when he advocated an obedience to the decisions of the High Court, no matter how unjust and how pro-Arab those decisions may have been, has lost Begin any support he may have had among voters who would otherwise agree with him ideologically.

The Feiglin warm and fuzzy talk about supporting his leader, Netanyahu, shows the Jewish Leadership champion’s political maturity more than it represents a sincere pledge of allegiance, as, I’m sure Netanyahu is well aware. Feiglin’s voters sent him to the Knesset to torpedo Netanyahu’s attempts to comply with the White House’s demands for a new settlement housing freeze, and to encourage the prime minister to leave behind his public—albeit tacit—support of a 2-state solution.

It is also interesting to observe the proliferation of religious politicians—men and women—who are now an inseparable part of the Likud leadership, and who have earned their spots on the Top-20 list. Although they are not part of Jewish Leadership, it is conceivable that they owe their new status to Feiglin’s relentless efforts.

Indeed, it is quite possible that the next Netanyahu government will not live out its four years in power, and Netanyahu might find himself in the same spot that his predecessor Ariel Sharon did on the eve of the uprooting of the Jewish towns and villages of the Gaza Strip – and abandon the Likud in favor of a new, center-left party a la Kadima.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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