Feiglin: Netanyahu trying to lynch me

Netanyahu activists had offered to keep him in the Likud if he would agree not to run for the Knesset.

Likud activist Moshe Feiglin vowed on Friday to run for a place on the Likud's Knesset list, despite chairman Binyamin Netanyahu's attempts to prevent him from running. Netanyahu's associates had offered Feiglin a deal on Thursday whereby Netanyahu would stop his efforts to expel Feiglin from the party in return for Feiglin dropping his Knesset candidacy. Feiglin accepted the offer but Netanyahu reneged on Friday morning. "Because Netanyahu is trying to lynch me politically, I will not drop my candidacy," Feiglin said. The Likud's law committee passed a proposal on Friday that would bar "anyone who had been convicted and sentenced to at least three months of jail time" from running for any position in the Likud. The proposal makes an exception for people who committed crimes deemed to not involve "moral turpitude" by the head of the Likud's election committee, former Tel Aviv District Court judge Tzvi Cohen. Feiglin was convicted in 1997 of "seditious acts and publications and unlawful assembly" during his protests of the Oslo Accords. Feiglin said that "Bibi has to remember that he was elected prime minister in 1996 on the backs of the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets in the demonstrations" that he was convicted of organizing illegally. Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel, who chairs the central elections committee, ruled six months ago that Feiglin's conviction did not involve moral turpitude. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz appealed the decision to the High Court of Justice unsuccessfully. Feiglin intends to petition the High Court if Cohen bars him from running. His associates said the Likud would appear ridiculous if the High Court says he can run and a lower judge like Cohen says he cannot. "Netanyahu's battle against Feiglin has only increased Feiglin's chances of getting elected," a Feiglin supporter in the Likud central committee said. "We were willing to compromise with him, but if he wants war, he will get a war." The proposal will come to a vote in the Likud central committee on January 1. The central committee will also convene on Monday to vote on proposals to delay the election for the Likud's Knesset list from January 3 to January 8 and to reserve the second slot on the list for Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. Two veteran Likud members appealed to the Likud's high court on Thursday asking the court to prevent the vote from reserving the slot for Shalom on the grounds that it goes against the Likud's charter. Health Minister Dan Naveh, who heads the party's ideological bureau, said the appeal was "an appeal against Likud unity." Netanyahu's efforts to prevent a right-wing activist like Feiglin from running and to reserve a slot for the moderate Shalom are part of an attempt by Netanyahu to attract wavering voters in the center of the political map.