Feiglin promises revolution as Netanyahu begs people to vote
Likud chairman leaves voicemail message on phones of 96,000 eligible voters asking them to come to polls.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 13, 2007 00:32
2 minute read.
moshe feiglin 298.88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu left an automated voice message on Sunday on the phones of all 96,000 party members eligible to vote in Tuesday's leadership race pleading with them to come to the polls.
Netanyahu convened the 140 activists in his campaign team and most of the Likud faction at a campaign event in Ramle on Sunday night in which he urged them to keep promises they made him about ensuring the highest voter turnout possible.
Netanyahu's representatives also asked the party's central elections committee to allow voting to take place over two days instead of one.
Challenger Danny Danon appealed to the same committee on Sunday, asking for the race to be delayed due to allegations that Netanyahu and his supporters had misused party branches to promote his campaign.
The only candidate who displayed confidence on Sunday was Moshe Feiglin, who told a homogeneous national religious crowd of 250 supporters at Jerusalem's Ramada Renaissance Hotel that victory was on the way. Fewer than 10 non-religious people came to the event.
"On Tuesday, we will topple the first domino on the way to the real revolution," Feiglin said. "We want to return the country to the Jewish majority. We will lead this country according to our values. Every Jew around the world will run to join this country and be a part of it. The people of this country will have pride and no enemy will dare harm a hair on the head of a Jewish child."
Feiglin used the stage to speak to ordinary Israelis at home and ask them whether the secular leadership that had led the country until now had run the state well. He accused the Supreme Court of being a branch of the extreme Left and Israeli Arabs of taking advantage of the national welfare system.
Commenting on the traffic accident that killed a father and his daughter on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway over the weekend, Feiglin asked, "Why do they let an Arab with 190 tickets get on the street and destroy a Jewish family?"
Netanyahu attacked Feiglin in an interview with Army Radio, calling him and his supporters "a fringe group who do not belong to the party and who are taking advantage of the democracy in the Likud even though they do not vote for the party."
The Likud leader also criticized his expected competition in the next general election, former prime minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who last week questioned making concessions to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and ruled out any territorial withdrawals until anti-rocket defense systems are in place in three to five years.
"I welcome that he saw reality but the question is how long will he keep his point of view, because he is known for his zigzagging," Netanyahu said. "Barak is proving once again his diplomatic amateurism and zigzagging. It's shocking that a man who was willing to give up the entire West Bank and led the fleeing from Lebanon not too long ago has suddenly become more Right than the Likud."