Likud activist Moshe Feiglin demanded that the party conduct a revote on its decision 10 days ago that he lost to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after the US State Department revealed on Sunday night that the government had pledged not to build in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood for two years.
Netanyahu easily defeated Feiglin’s loyalists in a vote of Likud central committee members that postponed elections for all the party’s institutions. Netanyahu turned the vote into a battle between him and Feiglin, while Feiglin painted it as a fight over the future of Jerusalem.
Likud rightists such as Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon backed Netanyahu in the vote, promising that Netanyahu would not freeze building in Jerusalem and would never divide the city.
“The American announcement proved that I was correct when I said that Netanyahu would allow a freeze in Jerusalem, and I think it also proves that I am correct and nearly the entire faction that stood behind Netanyahu is wrong when they say he won’t divide Jerusalem, and I say that whatever Bibi says, the opposite is true,” Feiglin said on Sunday night.
Feiglin’s spokesman briefed him about the American announcement while
he was discussing whether his Manhigut Yehudit [Jewish Leadership]
forum should leave the Likud, in a meeting with some 40 of his
loyalists at a private home in Jerusalem.
Manhigut Yehudit director-general Michael Fuah said after the meeting
that most of the people who attended said the Likud under Netanyahu was
no more democratic than Israel Beiteinu under Avigdor Lieberman.
Referring to the prime minister’s nickname, he called Netanyahu
Likud MKs said Netanyahu had told the Likud faction very clearly two weeks ago that building in Jerusalem would continue.
He said we “will never stop building in Jerusalem due to the
Palestinians demands just like the US would not stop building in
Washington at the request of the Taliban,” MK Danny Danon said.
Habayit Hayehudi faction chairman Zevulun Orlev warned on Sunday night
that “if Bibi won’t build in Jerusalem, he won’t be able to build on