The Likud should work to apply Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank and offer the Arabs living there money to emigrate, MK Moshe Feiglin said on Sunday, as he opened his campaign to wrest control of the party from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“By no coincidence, this is exactly what is clearly written in the Likud charter: Application of sovereignty in all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands,” Feiglin said.
He spoke at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan in advance of the party’s December 31 threeway leadership race in which MK Danny Danon is also vying to oust Netanyahu.
Feiglin said he chose to launch his campaign at Bar-Ilan because it was there that his party abandoned its principles when, in 2009, Netanyahu spoke of a twostate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognized the rights of Palestinians to a state of their own, albeit a demilitarized one.
“Here, in this place, where Prime Minister Netanyahu made his famous Bar-Ilan speech, we lost our political and diplomatic direction,” Feiglin said.
“Here, in this place, the national camp adopted the seed of destruction that had sprouted during the sixties in the most radical leftist camps and was vehemently rejected by the Labor camp and the sane Left.”
It’s time for the party to return to its ideological roots, Feiglin said. “One state for one nation in one land.”
It’s time to recognize that the 1993 Oslo Accord was a disaster and must be repealed, because it robbed Israel of its legitimacy by accepting that the Palestine Liberation Organization had a just claim to the land, Feiglin said.
“It makes no difference how strong you are, how technological you are, how many fences, cement blocks and Iron Dome batteries you position. It also doesn’t matter how humane you are and how cruel the other side is. What ultimately determines world opinion is very simple: Who is the just side of the story?” Feiglin said.
“For when we lost the sense of the justice of our cause, all that remained was the principle of self-defense,” Feiglin said.
Any diplomatic strategy must restore that sense of justice and legitimacy as well as strengthen the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, Feiglin said.
He proposed a sovereignty plan for a one-state solution, a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
During his entire half-hour speech, he mentioned the PLO but did not otherwise use the word “Palestinians.” He instead referred to those residents of the West Bank as Arabs.
Those Arabs who want to remain in their homes could do so by accepting Israeli sovereignty and acquiring permanent residency status, Feiglin said. Those who want citizenship status must make a public declaration of loyalty to the State of Israel and do national service. Both options, he said, are open only to Palestinians who have a clean record.
But he said the most “fair and attractive” option is to offer Arab residents of the West Bank a monetary compensation package to emigrate. He said he believed that 65 percent of them would take Israel up on the offer. Should the same plan be applied to Gaza, he said, 90% would want to leave.
“The costs of this option are minuscule in comparison to the astronomical sums of money that Israel has invested in the two-state idea,” Feiglin said. Oslo, he said, cost Israel NIS 1 trillion.
Feiglin also dismissed the demographic threat. He said he expected the Jewish majority in Israel to grow by 80% in the next 15 years, due to the combination of three factors: Arab emigration, a high Jewish birth rate and Jewish immigration.
Feiglin was born in 1962 in Haifa. He joined the Likud party in 2000 and became a Knesset member in the January 2013 election. He is often considered to be on the far-right end of the party. The December Likud leadership race will mark the fourth time since 2005 that he has vied to head the party. In the 2012 leadership race he received 23% of the votes.
On Sunday he spoke to an auditorium of over 100 Bar-Ilan University students, who broke into applause at various points in his speech. He told them that restoration of a one-state idea for the Land of Israel was only part of his platform.
As party head, Feiglin said, he would also develop a platform to improve the economic lives of Israeli citizens by lowering housing prices and the cost of living.
“Under my leadership, the Likud will not allow the food and housing cartels to charge prices that are more than double the norm in the world,” Feiglin said.
He promised to dissolve monopolies and create economic competition, rather then lowering the value-added tax.
The reform that occurred in the cellular phone industry must be applied to the housing, retail and financial markets, Feiglin said.
“The state currently holds 93% of Israel’s land reserves. It could lower the price of that land immediately,” said Feiglin, adding that under his leadership it would do so.
“I call upon you to vote for me, to strengthen the Likud and to return our country – with security and prosperity – to its true course and destiny,” Feiglin said.