Feiglin admits losing 1,000 members to Habayit Hayehudi

Likud hawk says they will regret leaving and will return.

Moshe Feiglin 311  (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Moshe Feiglin 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
As many as 10 percent of the 10,000 members rightwing activist Moshe Feiglin brought to the Likud left for Habayit Hayehudi during the religious-Zionist party’s membership drive that ended on Sunday, Feiglin estimated on Tuesday.
Feiglin said the 46,000 people who joined Habayit Hayehudi were “an objectively respectful number” and “a great accomplishment for a party that barely crossed the [2% ] electoral threshold.” But he said he expected there to be significant buyers remorse among new members of Habayit Hayehudi.
“Whoever left the Likud will regret it within a year when they see how irrelevant Habayit Hayehudi will be,” Feiglin said. “The point was never whether they would have a successful drive but what their product would be. The people who joined will soon see how little Habayit Hayehudi has to offer and then the storm in the teacup will blow over.”
Feiglin warned that taking right-wing votes from the Likud was dangerous because it could result in President Shimon Peres asking the head of a left-wing party to form the next coalition instead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He said it was also likely that Netanyahu would leave a combined Habayit Hayehudi- National Union slate out of the coalition.
“Let’s say they get 10 seats, which they won’t,” Feiglin said. “It either means sending right-wing seats to the opposition or them being a coalition partner with slightly more influence than the little they have now. The Likud not being large enough to form the next government could be the result of this drive. Where are their votes going to come from? Not from the Left. Only from the Likud.”
Feiglin said Likud ministers had proven that they serve Judea and Samaria well in order to receive support from his Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) movement and other right-wing groups in the Likud ahead of the next party primary.
Habayit Hayehudi released numbers from its membership drive late on Wednesday.
The three cities that have the most new party members are Jerusalem, Petah Tikva and Kiryat Ata.
With some 85% of the membership forms examined, 14% have been disqualified for various reasons.
The party reported that 58% of the people who joined the party were 45 and younger.
“We succeeded in returning the party to the young people,” said the head of the membership drive, Rabbi Daniel Tropper.