Right divided over peace talks tactics

Feiglin criticizes Likud MKs for not voting against budget in protest of cabinet's decision to release prisoners.

Moshe Feiglin 311  (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Moshe Feiglin 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MK Moshe Feiglin criticized his colleagues in Likud Beytenu on Monday for not joining him in voting against the state budget to protest the cabinet’s decision to approve the release of 104 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons.
Feiglin said had there been another four or five right-wing MKs who took a stand like he and told Netanyahu on Sunday that they would vote against the budget if the prisoner release was approved, the prime minister would have been forced to cancel the vote. He said such a scenario could have resulted in the cancellation of Monday night’s meeting in Washington between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
The Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus decided last week to threaten that its members would boycott key votes if building did not begin immediately in Judea and Samaria. But caucus head Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) said Monday they had backed down from the threat because it was too soon to judge whether building would resume.
Struck said the caucus and her Bayit Yehudi faction would wait until the Knesset returns from its extended summer recess in October before deciding to take parliamentary action against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition.
“I am voting with a heavy hand, but it is too soon to start burning bridges,” said Struck. She criticized Feiglin’s approach, which she said was “saving his own soul” rather than working as a team.
But Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, who suggested that the caucus adopt the slogan “No building [in Judea and Samaria], no voting,” endorsed Feiglin’s strategy.
“Had many MKs joined him and voted against the budget, Bibi [Netanyahu] would have had to back down, because he has no ideology and cares only about staying in power,” said Kashriel. “Unfortunately, the MKs here care only about their jobs, their nice salary and their fancy cars.”