Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Political Party or Empty Shell?

By Moshe Feiglin

2 Sivan, 5772
May 23, '12

Is the Prime Minister's "brilliant move" just the opening shot? Is his next move an attempt to inject the Kadimah MKs into the Likud? Or is the PM planning another Sharon-style bombshell, such as enticing MKs from the Likud to join him, Kadimah and Barak's party to form a new balloon party?

We all hope that these are not Netanyahu's plans. We cannot, however, ignore the worrisome signs and the great temptation that threatens to push the PM to make such a move.

The simple and logical solution for the Ulpana Hill neighborhood is to enact legislation to legalize the construction there. But that solution is being torpedoed by the PM. This means that his grand coalition has not afforded him enough power to stand up to the pressure of the media and the Left. From our past experiences we know that in situations like this, the Likud's leaders usually turn sharply left.

"Perhaps your power is your downfall?" Avri Gilad asked me in an interview on Channel 2. "Maybe Netanyahu will leave the Likud because of you, establish a new party and leave you with the empty shell?"

"That is exactly what Sharon did to Netanyahu," I answered. "Everyone talked about the empty shell that Sharon left for Netanyahu. But now it is plain to see that the Likud is actually the party that rebounded, while Sharon's Kadimah is the empty shell.

Nothing can last long without meaning; certainly not a political party that is supposed to be predicated on an ideology. That is why a party like Kadimah, founded on opportunism and essential corruption, or a party based on hatred of the Haredi public - cannot survive for long.

What gives the Likud its surprising vitality and resilience? Its members. The Likud is a traditional, popular party that faithfully represents the Nation of Israel and takes responsibility to lead it.

Sometimes, a leader can become confused and think that it is not the party that carries him, but just the opposite. A person who rules on the basis of that erroneous presumption can certainly succeed at first. But in no time, it will turn out that he is not equipped with the roots of a real party that will hold him strong in the stormy wind.

How can we prevent these dark predictions from coming true? First of all, at this point we are talking about no more than concern. As long as nothing comes of it, we will strengthen and assist the Likud government and its head in all of their positive undertakings.

However, we must make our concern public: Let our Knesset representatives know that we are attentively watching and waiting to hear what they plan to do if the above scenario plays itself out. The more that this potential move is publicly discussed and the more the ministers and MKs publicize their positions, the less chance that a new "big bang" will actually take place in Israeli politics. 

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