(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin announced Monday night that he and his followers would leave the party and start a new right-wing movement.
Feiglin, who said that his faction could join with other parties in the March 17 election or wait for the next race, made the announcement five days after Likud members voted to give him an unrealistic 36th slot on the party’s list for the next Knesset.
He gathered his followers at the Jerusalem International Convention Center at the same time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the need for “one large Likud” at a rally in Tel Aviv.
“We must leave the Likud and establish a political movement that will make itself accessible to Israeli voters,” Feiglin said. “With God’s help, it will quickly lead the nation. Quite a few proposals were made to me from various directions, which, on the surface, ensure my place in the next Knesset. I am weighing all the possibilities, but am not willing to be a party of ratings and atmosphere with no content. If we have to give up on the coming Knesset to build ourselves well and fundamentally, we will do so. We will take the time that we need to build ourselves in the proper and most exacting way.”
Two parties Feiglin and his followers could run with are former Shas chairman Eli Yishai’s Yahad Ha’am Itanu and former MK Michael Ben-Ari’s far Right Jewish Strength party. A source close to Feiglin said he is open-minded about possible shidduchim (matches).”
Feiglin complained about “tricks” that were done to try to keep him out of the Knesset. He referred to alleged political corruption in last Wednesday’s Likud primary and legal maneuvers Netanyahu took in the past to move him down the party’s list, accusing the prime minister of trying to assassinate him politically.
“The Likud has become an aging party; the average age of its members is above 60,” he said. “Like the other parties, it is completely based on one side of the problem. It does not have the mental agility to truly contain the necessary change and to go over to the side of the solution that exists within it.”
A source close to Netanyahu said Feiglin’s departure was expected and welcomed.