Likud MK Moshe Feiglin initiated a one-man rebellion against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition on Wednesday when he suspended himself from coalition discipline to protest Netanyahu barring him from the Temple Mount.
Netanyahu decided with Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Sunday not to permit Feiglin on the Mount, citing a threat to public security.
Feiglin responded that Netanyahu had no such right, and that he (Feiglin) had already stopped voting with the coalition on Monday, though it was only on Wednesday night that he announced he was suspending himself from the coalition “I knew there would eventually be a crisis of confidence between me and the coalition over one diplomatic move or another, but I certainly did not think it would come so soon,” Feiglin said.
“I have nothing against the Likud or the coalition, but we cannot accept dictates from the Wakf [Muslim religious trust],” he said.
“As soon as I am allowed back on the mount, I will return to being the most active MK.”
In a statement he posted on his official Facebook page, Feiglin wrote that with a heavy heart he had decided to suspend all regular parliamentary activity in order to emphasize that the Temple Mount cannot be subject to political games.
He posted a lengthy letter about the importance of the Temple Mount that he sent to the MKs in Likud Beytenu.
“I know I just started this term and I have goals and good intentions to get things done, but there are moments in life when you have to put everything aside and act according to your conscience,” he wrote in the letter.
“The Temple Mount is the rock of our existence. It is calling us. This is that moment.”
Feiglin claimed that a visit by the Knesset Interior Committee to the mount had also been prevented for the same reason he was being prevented from ascending. But committee chairwoman Miri Regev said this was not the case, and that an appropriate day for the visit was being found.
Coalition chairman Yariv Levin expressed support for enabling Feiglin to ascend the mount, but said that Feiglin’s insubordination would not be tolerated.
“Boycotting votes will not help Feiglin achieve his goals,” Levin said. “It harms the Likud, and it is unacceptable.”