Translated excerpts from an interview with Moshe Feiglin on Moreshet Radio:
Moshe Feiglin, you used to be in the Likud. Can you please explain to me how the ruling party, that does not really stand behind the grocery bill, which mandates that all groceries must be closed on Shabbat unless the municipality rules otherwise, is battling so hard to get it passed?
It is actually very simple. Netanyahu wants to retain his rule and his rule is contingent upon one man - whose name is Aryeh Deri. He has to keep him close to him. There was even talk of passing a bill that would lower the voting threshold, which would allow parties with fewer mandates to enter the Knesset. This would help Deri, whose Shas party is teetering on the voting threshold. Deri will have four or five mandates and those mandates are guaranteed for Netanyahu’s coalition. It has nothing to do with Shabbat. That is the whole story.
You used to be in the Likud and now you are the head of the Zehut party. What is the problem with the Likud?
The Likud’s problem is the same problem that plagues the entire political system in Israel: The Likud, the Jewish Home party, Yisrael Beiteinu, the Labor party, or Lapid. It doesn’t matter. They simply don’t say anything. They don’t have a message, they don’t have direction or vision. They are wallowing in their own murky waters and that is why we see all this infighting. They are busy saying what not to do and why they are better than the other parties, but they do not say what they want to do and why they should lead.
Do you think that Netanyahu is bad for the Likud? That if there was someone else heading the party, things would be different?
What is good or bad for the Likud does not interest me. What interests me is what is good for Israel. Israel needs a message, vision and direction. I think that Netanyahu is an excellent manager but a terrible leader. What is the problem with Netanyahu? The problem with Netanyahu is that we, our children and grandchildren will be living in the shadow of a nuclear Middle East because of Netanyahu.
Another example. When you turn your entire country into one big protective cement block – and it doesn’t matter if it by means of actual cement blocks, or Arrow missiles or by moves to avoid decisiveness such as removing the metal detectors from the Temple Mount or apologizing to Turkey or what not – you gain another day or two of quiet governing. But you push the glowing embers further down the line, where they turn into a huge fire of lost legitimacy and future war. Netanyahu likes to compare himself to Churchill. It is Churchill, however, who said, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war."
If you will be in the Knesset, and if you are in a senior position, how will you guarantee a majority for your message, for the bills that you will want to pass? After all, not everybody agrees with you.
Exactly like the Ultra-Orthodox. Why are they so strong? Why is Deri so strong, and has the entire State in his pocket? Why is Lieberman so strong? How did he become Defense Minister with only five mandates? For one simple reason: Netanyahu knows that they are not in his pocket. They are not in anyone’s pocket. Zehut has a very clear message…
Can you be in a coalition with the Left?
I can be with myself.
Right, but if you only have four or five mandates…
Try to remember how I conducted myself when I was in the Knesset. That is how Zehut will conduct itself when it returns to the Knesset with many mandates and that is how it will be, with G-d’s help. We will be in the Co-opposition. In other words we will do what we believe in and what we believe is good for the Nation of Israel. We certainly will not be giving strength to the rule of the Left. Zehut is the only party that has a clear plan for applying sovereignty over all parts of Israel. On the other hand, we are not just another key dangling from Netanyahu’s belt – that at the moment that he whistles, “The Arabs are running to vote!” all of our voters will run to vote for him. That is simply because many of our voters are Centrist. 11% of our potential voters are from the Ultra-Orthodox sector. This is a party that is building itself correctly.