By Moshe Feiglin
Remember the Likud referendum on Gush Katif? Suddenly, everybody understood that a process was under way in the Likud that could determine the fate of Gush Katif. The entire National camp enlisted to convince the Likud members to vote against Sharon's plans.
The misleadingly technical Likud vote scheduled for next Thursday is much more fateful. It is essentially a referendum on the future of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It is a vote on whether Israel will retreat to the 1967 borders, with minor territorial adjustments. It is a vote on whether Jerusalem will be internationalized. What is really on the agenda is the destruction of the State of Israel. Ladies and gentlemen, the Jerusalem referendum is now.
Sounds like an exaggeration? This is exactly what Ariel Kahane reported in Hebrew in the Makor Rishon newspaper on Jan. 28th, 2010, quoting three reliable American sources to back up his claims. On the eve of Independence Day, journalist Ari Shavit wrote an open letter to PM Netanyahu, (Hebrew) exhorting him to retreat from Judea and Samaria. Between the lines, it is obvious that Shavit's piece is part of a campaign to prepare the public for Netanyahu's retreats.
Sharon held the referendum on Gush Katif, unexpectedly lost and then ignored the results of the vote and destroyed Gush Katif - despite the will of his party. At the time, Netanyahu was a senior minister in Sharon's government. He could easily have leveraged the right's victory in the referendum, openly rebelled against Sharon and saved Gush Katif. Most of Sharon's ministers and Likud MK's were convinced that he would do just so. But Netanyahu is a coward. He remained in Sharon's cabinet and only when the bulldozers were already at the entrance to Gush Katif, resigned from his position, as if that would absolve him of his responsibility for the Expulsion.
Sharon was an experienced politician. He knew that there was no alternative to his leadership. With no fear for his political future, he ignored the results of the Likud referendum and destroyed Gush Katif.
The conclusion is simple. There is no reason to wage a political battle without offering a leadership alternative. Thus, there is no reason to ask the Likud Central Committee members to vote against Netanyahu unless there is somebody who boldly announces that he is a better alternative. The only person in the Likud who has done that is yours truly.
If Netanyahu wins this vote, he will step up the diplomatic process with Obama and with Tzippy Livni. He will explain to the public that this is a national emergency and a historic window of opportunity to achieve peace and to solve the Iranian crisis. The media will rally round him and Tzippy Livni will have no choice but to join the centrist bloc headed by Netanyahu. That, in a nutshell, is Netanyahu's plan.
But all it will take to topple Netanyahu's house of cards is one small mistake that will lead to general elections. With such a complex plan that does not take the strong feelings of the Israeli public toward Jerusalem into account, that is bound to happen. If there are general elections, the Likud will have to choose a new chairman. Ever since I joined the Likud, I have openly stated my goal to lead the party. With G-d's help, my chances to win the next primaries - on the background of Netanyahu's total capitulation - are excellent.
The other scenario is that Netanyahu will manage to destroy the Likud before the elections, and the National camp will not have a leadership party. The resulting vacuum will open many new options.
Clearly, Manhigut Yehudit is well-positioned to save Israel from this impending crisis. With or without the Likud, we will win!