Unknown joins Likud leadership race

Deadline to qualify for faction's leadership race arrives; Silvan Shalom has not announced intention to run leaving Feiglin and nuclear physicist, Vladimir Herczberg, as Netanyahu's opponents.

VLADIMIR HERCZBERG 311 (photo credit: Usa.do.am)
(photo credit: Usa.do.am)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will find out who his competition will be in the January 31 Likud leadership race on Sunday, the deadline to submit the signatures, forms, and the NIS 10,000 fee required to run.
Netanyahu’s nemesis, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, has not said publicly he will not run, but he has told his associates he will sit this race out because he believes Netanyahu ensured the race would not be a fair fight when he advanced the contest by a year and a half.
That would leave Netanyahu’s only opponents as Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, who is running for Likud leader for the fourth time, and Beersheba nuclear physicist, Vladimir Herczberg, who is running for the job for the third time.
Herczberg, who quietly joined the race last week, is a regular candidate whenever there is an election in Israel for almost anything.
Besides the Likud leadership, he has run for Knesset twice, Beersheba mayor twice, and once each for head of the Jewish Agency, World Jewish Congress, and Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
“I have a lot of free time,” Herczberg said when asked why he runs in so many elections. “Some people like to make money and rob the public coffers. I love politics.
It’s the most interesting thing there is in Israel. And I am only 65. I’m still young.”
Herczberg said Likud members should vote for him because Feiglin was “too extremist” and Netanyahu had already been Likud leader too long.
“There are people who are protesting in the streets because they have had enough of Vladimir Putin,” Herczberg said. “I think Bibi has been there long enough.
It’s time to give other people a chance. Maybe they are better than he is. Who knows?” Herczberg promised that if he becomes Likud leader and uses the post to propel himself to the Prime Minister’s Office, in his very first second as prime minister, he would attack Iran.
“We should have attacked a long time ago,” he said.
“I’m a nuclear physicist, so I really understand.”