Tamar Yonah has hosted “The Tamar Yonah Show” – Israel’s most popular English language radio talk show – for a decade. It is now on Israel News Talk Radio. Last week she interviewed Moshe Feiglin, Here is the transcript:
Tamar Y. (TY): Well, if you are not active on the social network, a lot of you are probably wondering, whatever happened to Moshe Feiglin? Well, Moshe Feiglin today is the head of the Zehut or the Identity Party. He is a former member of the Knesset from the Likud Party. So, I want to welcome to the show, Moshe Feiglin
MF: Good evening
TY: It is very good to have you on, you know a lot of us miss you. Being in the Knesset. We are scratching our heads and wondering “what happened to Moshe Feiglin”?
MF: I am sure that everyone will be very happy to know then, that we established our own Party named Zehut which means Identity and when you said “a lot of us” I am sure that you will be very happy to know that when we are talking about “a lot of us”. Most of our members and most of the people who are already saying in our surveys that they are going to vote for the Zehut Party are not religious people and not settlers and not knitted yarmulkas, you know what we call religious Zionists, but average Israelis. It is…we are managing in the last year slowly but surely, in a very quiet way as you mentioned through the, mostly through the media to create a new party that stands for all the people of Israel. A… I would say a new… a party that has the DNA of a new ruling party. Some kind of a new Likud. Nothing less than that. We… we don’t give up for one second on our dream to lead the state of Israel and we and we see miracles.
TY: Alright, so I just want to remind everybody that you can call into the show, we are live, if you are listening between 8-9 pm Israel time or if its between 1-2 pm New York Eastern time means we are live our numbers are on our webpage and in the chatroom. Moshe, before I go into my list of questions that I have for you, we do have a caller joining us from Jerusalem. Louise, Shalom Louise, what is your comment or question for Moshe Feiglin?
Louise: Yes, I have been here for many elections and uh the right has a problem because we have so many small parties and with the one person and with that one person that is heading it and its like a lot of little egos and I am just wondering why the right does not combine in one big party and people just forgo their egos for a while in order to get something done?
TY: Alright. Interesting question. So is this an ego issue, Moshe? Why doesn’t the right get together?
MF: I don’t know why the Right don’t get together but I think we should answer ourselves a very simple question. Why, when a guy named Lapid runs on his own ego, he gets 19 seats and why when Cahlon runs on his own ego, he gets 10 seats? Why it works for the Left and never works for the Right? And I think the answer is, that the Left is basically offering leadership to the State of Israel, they don’t come, Lapid or Cahlon, did not come with a sectoral agenda, we did not come with one flag ideology but came and basically convinced the people that they have a solution to their little problems in Bat Yam, in Holon and in Tel Aviv. And this is the difference, this is exactly what the Zehut Party is doing. Now before, we going to get these, these tons of questions from that direction, let me tell you directly. We have a survey, one of the top surveys companies in Israel “Ma’agar Mochot” very well know survey that gives us between 12 and 15 seats. Okay? We are not struggling for the threshold we are struggling for the leadership of Israel. We are not going to be the biggest party in one shot, I know that but it definitely aiming for the leadership of Israel. I think that close…closing question about a third of the questioned people saying that they are going to vote Feiglin, meaning Zehut, about a third of these people are not coming from the Right. Okay. About 10% are coming from the Mahane Ha’Tzioni another 10% voted Cahlon last time and another 10% from even Leftier parties.
Okay? So that is I think answering that. What is, what is even more interesting in this survey is that almost three quarters of the people that said that they are going to vote Feiglin because they knew my name they didn’t know the name of the party yet. They Feiglin, and the Zehut Party, three quarters of those voters are not wearing Yarmulkes. Okay? 18% of our voters are knitted Kipot, 11% of our voters are Haredim and the rest of them are eh .. traditional and secular. 26% of them are secular, totally secular, and the rest of them are traditional. not wearing Yarmulkes.
TY: where do you think these votes are going to come from? Are they going to come from the Jewish Home Party or from other parties more to the center Right?
MF: So I just told you, about a third of the votes that are going to Zehut, according to that survey are not coming from the Right Parties. Two thirds are what they call center Right and ehhh Right. Most of the votes, yes, are still coming from the Right. But a third are coming from the Center Right and a third I would say coming from I would even say Center Left. Like Mahane Tzioni as I mentioned. So I think that cover all those questions about you are going to take votes from the Right and you are going to split the votes is not true. We are passing big time the threshold this is A. B a third of our votes are we taking votes from the Left and from the Center okay and our agenda is definitely not the agenda of the Bayit Hayehudi or the rest of the Likud. Our agenda is all the country , one state for one nation for one god. Okay? This is our agenda. We want all the land, all the land of Israel but less involvement of the State of Israel in people’s lives. And that opens many people to listen to what we have to say. We have real solutions, to the problems of housing, real solutions to the problems of economy, of how the health system should function. We really deal with all the problems of Israel.
TY: OKAY, so I guess a lot of people are wondering you said that your ideas are not exactly matched to the Jewish Home Party but don’t you think that….I know,….. that there are a lot of people in my community in the Jerusalem area who are grumbling “why is everyone having a small party” “why, if Feiglin left Likud, he didn’t join up with the Jewish Home Party and make it really strong again”.
MF: It is…it is very simple. The Jewish home party are very good people. They do not fit in with my ideology and my agenda. It is as simple as that. Please listen to what I am saying, please understand that that the fact that I am wearing a knitted yarmulke do not mean that I belong to somebody. Okay? Uh uh the fact is that we manage to refer to the entire Israeli’s and we already now showing the I polls numbers that might be even bigger than the Jewish home party and if you want to ask me questions about my ideology about how am I going to deal with problems of security of what I think about _____ Azaria for example of what I think for example of this government this existing government which is the most Rightist government we could dream of in the last 30 years. This right wing, the right government let the Shabak okay take 10’s of young kids without lawyers and torture them. With all the, with all the….backing of the Bayit Hayehudi. This this government is not solving the problem of ____- this government is not even starting to talk about full annexing the land.
TY: Alright we are going to have to take a break, we will be right back. Stay with us Moshe if you can please.
TY: So Moshe, israel is in a very particular spot right now. We are facing ISIS we have Hezbolla in the north we have Hamas in the South in Gaza we have the world opinion against us. We have Oslo that is still a weight around our necks. What would be one of the first things you would do in order to free Israel from all of these troubles they’ve seen?
MF: basically our problem is not a physical problem, it is a spiritual problem. Physically, technically, Israel is now stronger than ever our army is stronger than ever, our economy is stronger than ever there is no longer any real Arab armies around us any just a few…I would say even minor…not so big terror organizations behind us. Besides the Hezbola that works as an Iranian force but Israel is definitely very strong. It is very strong on one hand and it is very weak on the other hand. What makes us physical y strong and spiritually so weak? The answer is that we gave away the strongest weapon that can be, which means justice. We cannot say a single word this is our land. As long as we not erasing —- withdraw from the Oslo agreement that says that the land of Israel belongs to our enemies and we are just colonialists that occupies territories that are not ours that is the meaning of the handshake of Rabin AND Netanyahu with Yasser Arafat at the time. That is the meaning of that. As long as we are not withdrawing from these agreements we keep on saying that we are the bad guys in the scene. Okay? So Israel has to withdraw from Oslo and totally annex the land until the Jordan River this is the only answer.
TY: Very very briefly, Moshe, because we don’t have a lot of time. What would be the repercussions if Israel came out and said, okay no more Oslo agreement?
TY: so I am going to ask you very briefly because we don’t have a lot of time – what would be the repercussions if Israel just came out and said, we denounce the Oslo agreements. No more.
MF: Well, of course there would be a lot of bad words around us, a lot of condemning. the world is not going to be happy about it. But we know from the short Israeli history every time Israel stood for what was really important for it eh the world went ahead with it. The world went ahead with it and there are many examples for that
MF: It is not a question what the world is going to say, it is a question what the Jews are going to do.
TY: ah ha…. let’s go quickly to a caller. We have Wayne from Missouri, shalom Wayne. What is your question for Moshe Feiglin?
Wayne: well, my question is, Israel has always done the right thing. They were a peacefull nation no doubt that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel they don’t need to back down for no one um..
TY: What is your question, Wayne?
Wayne: my question, is, would there be peace in the Gaza strip?
TY: Would there be peace in the Gaza strip? Okay wayne, thank you for calling. Moshe Feiglin, would there be peace with the Gaza Strip if so, how? How would we make peace with the Gaza Strip?
MF: well, well I could tell you one thing when Israel withdraws from the last grain of the Gaza Strip what we got is a rain of rockets all over our country especially since the first time since 48 in Tel Aviv, for almost 2 months. That is what we got in return of giving the world exactly what it asked for. The whole territory of gaza including destroying all the settlements of Gush Katif. So in order to have peace we have to stick to our justification, to our land to our identity to our justice and when we are doing the other way around thinking the world is going to love us, we are getting exactly the opposite. You want peace? Stick to your identity and your justice.
TY: Alright. I think that uh…as you said we need to remain strong when the Arab world smells weakness it just emboldens them even more . Moshe we don’t have a lot of time. I want you to if you can give your platform for the Zehut party to our listeners. You said that you are taking the platform of solving a lot of the problems with any health issues that Israel has and also with the economy. Are you looking to make a little more capitalism and less government involvement you know “less fingers in the pie” from the government?
MF: definitely yes. The situation to Jews, when you are a Jew in the diaspora and you wish to buy yourself a home in Israel the Minister of Finance is telling you don’t buy, we need those housing for our own people. Or if you are a doctor, a Jewish doctor in Paris and you cannot come to Israel because the Israeli economy cannot provide you a job, jobs in Israel. This socialism concept that Israel is running upon should come to an end. Israel should be a real free liberated state with a concept of liberty. Liberty is a Jewish concept with leSs involvement of the government in the economy and people’s lives and at the same time, as I said, we want the whole country.
TY: Who should the American’s vote for, in the elections, Trump or Hillary?
MF: I not getting into it and thank god it is not my problem.
TY: Okay. You know we have a joke going around, you know we have a problem with the American elections is that one of them is going to win. Okay, so how would you deal with the terrorist situation in Israel? How would you stop the terror?
MF: when we are talking about annexing the land, we are talking about disarming all the organizations including those terror organizations that we gave a legitimate legitimacy calling PLO okay? They are all killers, all terrorists. No sovereign organization besides Israel should be between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean including not the WAQF on the temple mount. We are very clear on that. And that is the only way to solve the terror problem as well.
TY; so you wouldn’t call for transferring Arabs out of Israel?
MF: All the Arabs, all the resaidents of these territories that we will annex will have 3 options: the first one which will refer to most of them is do what they really wish to do according to their own surveys and that will be giving them all the opportunities to give them all the encouragement money and opportunity to find their futures in better places than the Jewish state. Better places for them in any case. Okay? 15 or 20 thousand of them are leaving the territories every year anyhow. They are looking to leave and we should use the money the huge amount of money that we are throwing out on the Oslo process every year in order to create for them “Sal Hagirah” a….
TY: A compensation basket
MF: those of them that will wish to stay, not as citizens but as basically they keep their position
MF: as residents, thank you. Will be able to do it. If they find loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state..
TY: okay and 3 – we just don’t have a lot of time
MF: those and that will be a very long process those who will ask to become citizens of Israel and will be willing to serve in the army and be like the Drusim in Israel, will have the ability as well, according to the Israeli interests not automatically and not in big numbers
TY: We have about a minute left, how would you like to leave our listeners on the show? What do you want to say to them?
MF: I want to tell your listeners that finally there is hope to a real change, there I a solution to the Israeli problem not just fooling around running around inside the cage trying to minimize the problem that the Left left us. But coming with our own agenda with a solution with a whole alternative to the Left and to the Right.