Moving Forward to Leadership: An Interview with Moshe Feiglin
The following is a translation of an interview with Moshe Feiglin on Israel National News from Tuesday, 18 Cheshvan/Nov. 15. The interview follows Opposition leader Tzippy Livni's warning that if the laws requiring a Knesset hearing for candidates for the Supreme Court and prohibiting foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs would pass, Israel would be plunged into a "dark Feiglinite dictatorship":
INN: Why did Tzippy Livni choose you, specifically, to describe a dark dictatorship? Interesting, isn't it?
Manhigut Yehudit has been leading the struggle against the dictatorship of the Supreme Court for a long time; long before many journalist and MKs who were left-leaning understood what was going on. We in Manhigut Yehudit identified the problem and put reform for the Supreme Court at the top of our agenda.
If you remember, 2 years ago, when Netanyahu forced me into an unrealistic slot on the Likud roster after I was elected, I was interviewed on Israel television's Channel 1. It was the opening news story on the nightly news and interested the entire public. Everyone expected me to fight in the Supreme Court against Netanyahu's illegal and undemocratic move. But I announced that I would not turn to the Supreme Court, for I have no faith in it. I assume that the fact that I have distinguished myself and Manhigut Yehudit as being at the forefront of the struggle against the Supreme Court was etched into Tzippy Livni's memory, and that is why she made those remarks.
What? All because of that one evening?
With all due modesty, we are the standard bearers in the struggle against the judicial dictatorship and the first to highlight this problem. I assume that this is why she used my name.
When did you begin to understand that there must be a struggle against the Supreme Court?
A long time ago. I have been writing about it for over ten years, since the days of Zo Artzeinu. It was never complicated to understand that the Supreme Court judges, particularly, and the entire judicial system including the State Attorney's office, 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 publicized an amazing poll of the Maagar Mochot Institute this week that shows that only 14% of the public think 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 terrible; 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 of this week 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. We can see that both our ideological policies and the candidates that we chose have triggered change. The Left is feeling the heat. This is a great success for Manhigut Yehudit.
It is important for people to understand: Opening the Likud to the faith based public, registration for the Likud on one hand and presenting a faith based alternative for the leadership of the party on the other have created a new reality, both from the bottom up and from the top down. 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.
Netanyahu cannot play a trick on you like he did last time?
Netanyahu is not my enemy. He is really doing all that he can to govern from within the confines of the current consciousness. He was elected by the current consciousness and he represents it. From within this parameter, nobody can do better than him. I am talking about the next stage; after the consciousness changes. At that stage I believe that the public - the Israeli consciousness - will demand Jewish leadership. I believe that we are nearing that point. I am not in a battle against Netanyahu, I am not afraid of Netanyahu or vice versa. We are acting within the existing reality while planting a deep stake within the future reality and progressing toward it. Both moves are taking place together and thank G-d, are bearing fruit.
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 live in the religious bubble.