Feiglin: If I were PM, I'd rebuild the Temple

Netanyahu's nemesis in Likud still harbors hopes to become Israel's next prime minister.

Moshe Feiglin 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
Moshe Feiglin 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
Moshe Feiglin, head of Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership Movement) said last week that if he was elected prime minister, he would try to rebuild the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. "I don't know if I will have the merit of doing something that is the aspiration of every Jew," said Feiglin. "But if I become prime minister I will take away control over the Temple Mount from the Wakf [the Islamic trust] and reinstate Jewish sovereignty over the entire mount and, hopefully, rebuild the Temple." Feiglin said that rebuilding the Temple and all that it symbolized was the essence of a Jewish state. Feiglin made the comments during the second annual Ramle Conference, sponsored by the religious Zionist settler movement Komemiut and a small group of young rabbis who are involved in outreach in Ramle. The subject of the conference was "Between Israel and the Nations of the World." Speakers who included Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi of Hebron-Kiryat Arba Dov Lior managed to draw only a few dozen people to the event. The conference, which took place at Ramle's community center, was also broadcast on Arutz 7's Internet site. Feiglin said that Israel's political leadership since 1967 had missed the chance to "realize every Jew's aspiration." "I am not saying that I will fulfill this dream, but I am saying that if I get the chance I will do my utmost to bring our hopes in line with reality. It may seem altogether disconnected from reality to talk about rebuilding the Temple, but imagine how an Auschwitz survivor would have responded if he were told in 1945 that the Jewish people would have a state of their own with a Jewish army," he said. In December of last year, ahead of national elections, Feiglin, who was number 20 on Likud's list, was sidelined by Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu. In an internal party decision, Feiglin was bumped down to the number 36 slot, leaving him out of the present Knesset. However, Feiglin, who spoke with The Jerusalem Post Sunday, said he still harbored ambitions of replacing Netanyahu and becoming Israel's next prime minister. Meanwhile, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, a leading spiritual leader of the settlement movement and rabbi of Beit El, envisioned a time when a majority of Israelis would be religious. "There is a steady process unfolding in which the state is gradually becoming more religious," said Melamed. "Haredim and families from our crowd have large families. Also, there are growing numbers of newly religious families. There is a deep feeling that people want the redemption to arrive already. And part of that process will be the rebuilding of the Temple."