(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin decided over the weekend to sit out the March 17 election to focus on building a new party that will compete in the next race after that, he told The Jerusalem Post Sunday night.
Feiglin turned down multiple offers from parties to run together with them. He will instead focus on building up the new party so it will be ready next time.
The new party will conduct a membership drive that will be open to Jews around the world, or as Feiglin put it, “Israelis and those who have not yet made aliya.” One name being considered for the party is the Jewish State Party.
“It will be a party for the whole Jewish world,” he said. “We will have haredim (ultra-Orthodox), kibbutzniks, and people from all over the country and the world, especially young people.”
Feiglin said he received many messages from MKs consoling him about not winning a realistic slot in the Likud. He said he quit the Likud by sending a fax.
Many followers of Feiglin who he brought into the Likud have followed suit, but many have decided to remain in the ruling party.
“As you may know, I have been a Likud activist for over ten years, and many of you are members of the Likud because of my efforts,” Gidon Ariel of the Likud’s Ma’aleh Adumim branch wrote on Facebook. “I have never hidden the fact that my presence in the Likud is not to be a yesman to anyone, but to defend the Likud’s stated values as clarified in its constitution, through supporting activists and MKs who carry that banner, speaking for the party in the media, running for office, and other activities.”
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Ariel said he joined the party with Feiglin and considers him a close friend. But he said he was surprised by his decision to leave the party and he would not follow him.
“I continue to believe that the best place that a supporter of Eretz Yisrael can make a significant impact is within the Likud,” he said. “I am staying in the Likud, I encourage my friends to stay, and if you aren’t a member yet, I urge you to consider joining.”
But Aryeh Sonnenberg of the Likud’s Beit Shemesh branch said he would leave together with Feiglin.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said. “I came to Likud to advance the goals of Manhigut Yehudit [Feiglin’s Jewish leadership organization].
When you do something, you need to do it wholeheartedly.
You can’t have one foot here and one foot there. I believe in the ideology. The Likud didn’t work out. It’s time to go somewhere else. I have to follow what most talks to me and for me it’s the ideology of [Feiglin] that gets me up in the morning.”
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