As the votes for chairman of the Likud were being counted, a new picture emerged. The number of people who voted for me increased by 70% from the previous elections, while the number of voters in Judea and Samaria decreased. The vast majority of the votes that I received came from anonymous voters throughout Israel.
"Today Feiglin is the mainstream in the Likud" said the influential Nadav Peri on Israel's Channel 10. "If the Likud members in Judea and Samaria had all voted Feiglin, he would have gotten 40% of the vote, and not 25%."
My feelings were mixed. Objectively, 25% of the vote was an extraordinary achievement that promises even greater achievements in the future. I ran against a strong and popular incumbent who sprung the elections by surprise. Nobody else was willing to run against him. All the government ministers and many Knesset members gave Netanyahu their full support. The party machine and the mayors were all aggressively at his service. When despite all this, one in every four (without taking all the stolen votes into account) Likud members votes Feiglin, it means that their hearts have been opened and the path to faith-based leadership is paved. It means that we can continue to progress until we will have the merit to finally lead the National Camp and the country.
"Feiglin crossed the green line" (the 1967 borders) Israel's Channel 1's Boaz Shapira declared, "and that is the entire story."
But these elections have left a bad taste in my mouth. 25% of the vote is not enough to undermine the absolute hegemony that Netanyahu enjoys in the party. Despite our achievement and great progress, there are still No MKs or ministers who, after the election, draw their political power, and more importantly, their legitimacy, from a different pole in the movement. If Netanyahu does not wish to legalize Migron, it will not be legalized. If he decides to take the settlements out of the list of areas eligible for special benefits, they will be removed. The political power of the loyal ministers and MKs has mainly remained tactical and limited. They can oppose Netanyahu until the moment that he will have them removed. Even though I received 25% of the vote, they are still in Netanyahu's pocket. They can irritate him, but not much more than that. Their position as they face off against Netanyahu is ominously similar to their situation before the Expulsion. Everyone loves the settlements and will help them as much as they can just like they all visited Gush Katif and tried to help out.
Ze'ev Ben Yosef is one of the founders of the Likud and a senior Beitar member. In the past, he has opposed my candidacy. In these elections, he called upon his friends to come and vote for me. After the telephone poll in which the ministers decided to remove the settlements from their preferred status, Ze'ev wrote the following to my opponents in Judea and Samaria.
"I was shocked by your advertisement. I warned you before the primaries that the only way to prevent what happened (ed: the diminished status of the settlements) from actually taking place would be for the National Headquarters to recommend voting for Feiglin. Netanyahu and his ministers would see that we have important combined power and it is very possible that we could have prevented further destruction and tragedy."
How can we explain this phenomenon? Not only did the National Headquarters not endorse me, but they went to great lengths and spent a lot of money to campaign against me while I was struggling against the PM.
At every historic juncture, when the Jews must enter a new plane of consciousness a redemption situation, the majority will prefer to cling to the old order and will be lost. They will prefer to beg Pharaoh for just a bit more straw than to ask for redemption. Only one fifth of the Jews in Egypt was redeemed. The rest were lost. Those Jews who do leave Egypt will prefer to remain in the desert and not to experience the revolutionary consciousness necessary to enter the Land of Israel. Only two giants of that generation were endowed with a different spirit. And the rest of the generation died in the desert.
When in the 1920's the British opened the gates of the Land of Israel and anticipated a huge wave of aliyah, the nation remained in the Diaspora, waiting for its horrifying annihilation. When we could have liberated Jerusalem in 1948, the government abstained. When the Temple Mount fell into our hands in 1967, we returned it to the wakf. That is just the way we are genuine "redemption refusers". We recite the requests for the Temple day and night and mouth our longing to rebuild it. But we don't really mean it at all.
Today, when we have returned to our country, settlement is not the goal, but the means. The goal is to perfect the world in the kingdom of Heaven. To accomplish that, we must direct the Return to Zion. For that, we need to lead.
The faith-based public seems to be emotionally incapable of establishing an alternative to lead the country. We must fulfill our destiny to take Zionism out of its current consciousness and enter a faith-based redemption consciousness. Our unwillingness to shoulder the responsibility to transfer Israel from existential Zionism to destiny Zionism turns the religious Zionist public into sectoral extra baggage. It is not a coincidence that the settlers often find that they do not have the rights taken for granted by every citizen in Israel. Just as Israel, when it refuses to connect with its destiny loses its legitimacy in the world, so the settlers who negate their destiny, lose their legitimacy in Israeli society.
It is simply an illness. They will bring ministers to Migron who "had no choice" but to vote in favor of the Expulsion and will vote for further retreats. They will drive full gas in neutral while the road is wide open just to avoid taking the necessary leap of faith into the new consciousness.
The door is open! Just start marching toward leadership, toward liberty, toward destiny. It is not easy, but it is do-able. That is what we proved in these elections. The Nation is waiting! It is yearning for a life of national meaning and anticipates your leadership! But you do not believe in yourselves. You are afraid of victory, for if we win, Netanyahu and his ministers will leave us. Do you understand? You are afraid that someone who announces that he intends to give the Land to our enemies will leave you. You really have nothing to lose the results of this game are already clear. Every kindergarten or building that you will get will ultimately be lost just like in Yamit and Neveh Dekalim. They also had devoted community organizers who brought in money and building permits. You have no choice: Lead or be lost.