Feiglin says he will run for the Knesset
Accuses Netanyahu of 'lynching' him for filling streets with protestors.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 23, 2005 00:03
2 minute read.
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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Moshe Feiglin on Friday said that he intended to run for the Knesset, and accused Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu of trying to "lynch" him because he "filled the streets with the Oslo protestors whom Bibi used to get elected in 1996."
On Thursday, Netanyahu ended his efforts to expel right-wing activist Moshe Feiglin from the Likud, just two days after he announced a quest to purge the Likud of "negative elements."
Netanyahu offered Feiglin a deal whereby he would agree to not expel him from the party in return for Feiglin dropping his race for a slot on the Likud's Knesset list, Likud sources said.
Feiglin was expected to accept the offer because he had very little chance of getting elected and because the only position he wanted was that of Likud leader. Feiglin had intended to drop his candidacy for the Knesset on Tuesday, but he had changed his mind after Netanyahu started his campaign against him.
"I entered politics to advance ideas and not to enter the Knesset," Feiglin said. "I might have more impact outside the Knesset."
Netanyahu gave in to pressure from Uzi Landau and other former Likud rebel MKs, who defended Feiglin because they wanted the support of the 120 Likud central committee members loyal to Feiglin when the committee elects the Likud's Knesset slate January 9.
Central committee members will vote four days earlier, on January 5, on a proposal to ban "anyone who has been convicted and sentenced to at least three months in jail" from running for any position in the Likud.
To exclude Feiglin, Netanyahu added a clause saying that the proposal exempts people who the Likud's central elections committee decided did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude. The committee ruled three years ago that there was no moral turpitude in Feiglin's 1997 conviction for seditious acts, publications and unlawful assembly during his protest of the Oslo Accords.
Netanyahu's spokesman denied that there was a deal with Feiglin and said the Likud chairman was still determined to prevent Feiglin from running for the Knesset. Netanyahu delayed the election for the party's Knesset slate by six days to January 9 to allow him to take the legal steps necessary to oust Feiglin.
But Netanyahu's opponents in the Likud said the election did not have to be postponed to hold the vote. They accused Netanyahu of delaying the vote because he wanted more time to influence the list chosen by the central committee and convince committee members not to elect people who might be too right-wing. They also charged that Netanyahu had a hit-list of MKs he did not want to see back in the Knesset.
The central committee will convene on Monday in Tel Aviv to approve Netanyahu's proposal to reserve the second slot on the Likud list for Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. Netanyahu has come under fire for the proposal from Likud officials who saw the move as an attempt to pander to centrist voters who would otherwise vote for Kadima.
"Bibi is not fooling anyone by pretending to be a centrist," a Likud Knesset candidate said.