Anglo Likud candidates shut out of Knesset

Feiglin's interference blamed by some.

tal brody 88 (photo credit: )
tal brody 88
(photo credit: )
None of the five US citizens running for the Likud's Knesset list in Monday's primary won a realistic slot, despite high expectations. The highest-ranking American was Scranton, Pennsylvania-born Yechiel Leiter, who won 39th spot. No poll to date has predicted the Likud winning more than 37 seats in the general election. The shutout of native English speakers in the Likud left the effort to elect an Anglo to Kadima, Israel Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi, which each have a Canadian candidate seeking a realistic Knesset slot. Trenton, New Jersey-born basketball star Tal Brody, who was supported by Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, lost to World Likud chairman Danny Danon, who had the support of Likud activist Moshe Feiglin. He had competed for the slot reserved for someone from the area between Tel Aviv and Haifa, including Ra'anana, where he lives. Brody expressed disappointment that he was not elected, but he said he was still glad he ran. "My only regret is not starting to run a month earlier, which could have made all the difference," said Brody, who vowed to continue to stand behind Netanyahu and help him in any way he could. Brooklyn-born Yossi Fuchs lost the seat reserved for a candidate from Judea and Samaria to Feiglin's candidate Boaz Haetzni, the son of former MK Elyakim Haetzni. Fuchs said he could not defeat what he called "the Feiglin machine." "I thought I would win because I had the support of Rabbi Dov Lior, the head of the council of rabbis in Judea and Samaria, but Feiglin has his hassidim, and they listen to their rebbe," Fuch said. Leiter, formerly Netanyahu's chief of staff, also may have been victimized by Feiglin, who reportedly sent volunteers to polling stations to persuade people in line not to vote for Leiter, a frequent Feiglin critic. Jerusalemite Fred Moncharsh, formerly of San Francisco, decided to run at the last minute to protest a decision by Feiglin to field a candidate against him in the Jerusalem region, after he was promised that he would be Feiglin's candidate. "I knew that given the time I invested, I didn't expect to win, but I learned a lot," Moncharsh said. New York-born Shmuel Sackett, who founded the Likud's Jewish Leadership faction together with Feiglin, failed to win a slot reserved for an immigrant candidate despite Feiglin's best efforts. Sackett denied that Feiglin was the reason the other Anglo candidates did not win. He said they just needed to work for a few more years and maybe they could get elected to the next Knesset. "I didn't win, but my campaign reached the English-speaking public and persuaded them to vote for Feiglin and that was the main reason I ran," Sackett said.