Knesset sideshows: Feiglin loses manly moniker, Pirates declare revolution

Another leader said about the party's new candidate: ‘I don’t know him. I met him yesterday outside the Knesset. He’s a soldier. He seemed nice, so I put him on the list.’

By BRADLEY LEVIN, STEPHANIE WASSERMAN,
July 31, 2019 18:27
2 minute read.
Knesset sideshows: Feiglin loses manly moniker, Pirates declare revolution

Leader of Zehut Moshe Feiglin. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

At the Knesset’s Central Election Committee meeting on Wednesday, some unique “politicians” voiced their opinions as they declared their candidacy for the fall elections. It was the first of two days in which MK hopefuls can declare their parties for the polls. When announcing their candidacy, those running also got to choose their letters for ballots, although some did not get their first choice.

Moshe Feiglin, leader of the libertarian Zionist party Zehut, unexpectedly failed to acquire his favorite letter, Zayin, which is slang for penis. Despite the fact that another party stole the symbolic letter, Feiglin remained positive, suggesting that all he cares about is his party making it into Knesset.

Others who came to register their parties also ran into trouble. Former deputy mayor of Rehovot Ami Feinstein of the “Red and White Incorruptibles” made a scene at Knesset security for carrying a bag of marijuana. The MK hopeful was initially refused entrance, as he threw a fit and stated that marijuana should be distributed for free all across Israel. After eventually gaining entrance, Feinstein presented himself as his own No. 2 on the party list, giving the No. 1 spot to an Ethiopian immigrant to show his support for the minority group.

Similarly to the Incorruptibles, Manhigut Hevertit, a “socioeconomic leadership” party, presented a surprise member on their party list. When asked about the mystery fourth member, leader Ilan Mashicha said “I don’t know him. I met him yesterday outside the Knesset. He’s a soldier. He seemed nice, so I put him on the list.” The Central Election Committee informed Mashicha that the soldier, Tomer Shapira, is not allowed to be a Knesset member while he is still doing military service.

One of the first parties to declare was the KMA Party. There were no surprise candidates from the self-proclaimed “best” party, as all of its members, four sister-wives of Daniel Ambash, were in attendance. The Ambash ladies, who call themselves “a unique family, and not a cult,” are running on a platform of advancing individual rights in the legal system. Their husband is currently in prison serving a 26-year sentence for sexual abuse and keeping people in slave-like conditions. Ambash has two additional wives and at least 10 children.

Later in the day, the Pirate Party invaded the Knesset, although they did not sport their usual garb. Their captain, Ohad Shemtov, spoke about the group’s lack of hats: “Last time I came to register the party, I wore the hat and got a lot of questions. So, this time, we just wore the shirts [that sport a printed white tie made of skull and bones]… The other reason, [besides an Internet poll voting in favor of no hats], is that it is hot.”

When asked for their platform, the Pirates responded revolutionarily, saying that they want to eliminate the electoral threshold, hold votes online and increase the size of Knesset. In the last election, the party’s official name was “The Pirates led by the Internet, a note for diarrhea,” a play on Hebrew words for dropping slips of paper into ballot boxes. The Pirate Party is an international party that holds seats in a few European parliaments, such as in the Czech Republic, Iceland and Luxembourg.


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