Friday, January 25, 2013

Post-Election Interview with Moshe Feiglin

A translation of Moshe Feiglin interviewed by Yael Dan on Israel Radio, Wednesday, 12 Shvat, 5773 / Jan. 23, '13.

YD: The fact that the Likud asked you to remain silent during the election campaign may have actually helped the Likud not to lose more votes to the center.

MF: The exact opposite is true. Israelis long for meaning in their lives. Even the Left admitted that Israeli society has turned rightward. For this reason, Shelly Yechimovitz and others on the Left did not talk about their political plans.

Israeli society wants more patriotism and more Jewish identity. Ultimately, these wishes were not expressed by a massive vote for the Likud. This is because the Likud hid its ideology during the campaign. Some of those votes went to Lapid.

Please clarify where Netanyahu is at fault.

I don't want to blame Netanyahu or anyone else. What is important to understand today is that there is nobody else capable of being prime minister. I expect Netanyahu to quickly put together a broad, responsible government. Yair Lapid is singing a tune that is very sweet to the ear. I think he is a natural partner for the Likud.

Really? His sweet tune demands the resumption of negotiations with the Arabs. Would you be willing to accept that condition?

I listened to all the things that Yaakov Peri (on the Yesh Atid list) enumerated as part of Lapid's conditions. I must say that I completely agree with his demand to downsize the government and ministerial positions. Ben Gurion, as I remember, made due with seven or eight ministers. I don't understand why we need more. This and other conditions are very positive.

About negotiations with the Arabs: Yaakov Peri talked about a mutually agreed divorce, a concept that I heard for the first time from him. I like that idea very much. I have also been proposing a similar move.

So you are willing to negotiate with Yair Lapid on the conditions for resuming peace talks as a condition for his entry into the coalition. 

I completely agree with the idea that we must achieve a mutually agreed divorce from the Arabs. I obviously differ with him on the way to get there. The Yesh Atid party thinks that we have to return to the failed Oslo paradigm, with endless negotiations. I think that they are mistaken on this point. But we can definitely achieve a mutually agreed divorce from the Arabs in a way that is contingent on us.

What about Lapid's ultimatum on the Haredi draft issue?

I absolutely agree. In other words, there is definitely a wide range of possibilities here for partnership. Here you are, talking to Moshe Feiglin, who is portrayed as representing a problematic stand, but I am sure that we can reach agreement. I can expound upon my ideas for solving the draft problem, but I am not sure that there is time.

Who else would you like to see in the coalition? Shas? 

Any party that is motivated by its Jewish identity, and that believes that first and foremost, we are Jews in a Jewish state: A party that does not try to undermine the Jewish state that we established here after 2000 years is relevant as part of a broad nationalist government.

Are you excited about entering the Knesset?

I am not excited. For years now, everyone thinks that I am a Knesset member anyway. But what I do feel is a strong sense of responsibility. 

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