Likud Gains in First Post-Feiglin Poll; Bibi Tries to Bump Him
Kislev 13, 5769, 10 December 08 10:04
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Polls show no negative 'Feiglin effect'
(IsraelNN.com) The first post-Likud primaries poll dispels chairman Binyamin Netanyahu's fears that Jewish Leadership faction leader Moshe Feiglin's victory will hurt the party, but Netanyahu and his allies are appealing to the party's court in an effort to dump him.
The Likud actually would gain two seats if elections were held today, according to a Haaretz-Dialog poll, while a Yediot Acharonot survey shows the party would lose one Knesset Member. However, the same poll also shows that the Kadima party would win two seats less than in the previous survey, while Labor would gain two.
Following are results of the Haaretz-Dialog poll in the first column, with the second column showing the number of seats according to the previous poll taken three weeks ago. Each party's present strength is listed after its name.
36 34 Likud 12
27 28 Kadima 29
12 10 Labor 19
11 11 Arab parties 10
9 10 Shas 12
9 10 Yisrael Beiteinu 11
6 6 United Torah Judaism (Agudah) 6
6 7 Meretz 5
4 4 Jewish Home 9
The Green, Pensioners, HaTikvah and Meimad parties would not win enough support for Knesset representation, according to the polls.
A Likud-led coalition including nationalist and religious parties would include 64 MKs compared with 45 for a coalition led by Kadima, not including the Arab parties.
The poll also revealed that nearly half of the respondents do not know if Feiglin's winning the 20th place on the party's list of Knesset candidates will affect the party in the general elections February 10. Twenty percent thought that the results would be positive, and 27 percent said the party would be hurt at the polls.
However, Netanyahu and his allies are not accepting the Feiglin victory quietly (Is this kosher?) and have appealed to the party's court to change the placements of several candidates who won places higher than the spots that had been reserved for them. If the appeal is accepted, Feiglin and other strong nationalists would move further down the list.
Israeli media, particularly Yediot Acharonot, Haaretz and Voice of Israel government radio highlighted anti-nationalist views that the victories of Feiglin, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Begin have turned the Likud into "an extreme right-wing" party. Haaretz published an article by former Meretz Knesset Member and party leader Yossi Sarid that made comparisons with Hitler and stated that Feiglin is a fascist. (Freeman Note: This is coming from the anti-Zionist, pro Arab Left).
Feiglin's victory came at the cost of Netanyahu's favorites, such as Asaf Hefetz and Uzi Dayan, whose distant places on the Knesset list mean they will enter the legislature only if the Likud can score a large victory in the general elections.
Haaretz noted that the "Feiglin effect" may take time before it is reflected in the pre-election polls, but Feiglin has claimed that his winning a high place on the list of candidates will attract national religious voters. The new Jewish Home party, a spin-off of the National Union party, would win only four seats, compared with nine in the current NRP-National Union party.
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Feiglin: I'm Right-Wing. So What?
Kislev 13, 5769, 10 December 08 08:07
by Maayana Miskin
(IsraelNN.com) Moshe Feiglin, head of the Likud's Jewish Leadership faction and in the 20th spot on the party's list of Knesset candidates, responded Tuesday night to charges that he is more hawkish than others in the party. Of course I am to the right of [party head Binyamin] Netanyahu. So what? What's the problem? Feiglin asked.
"The Likud needs to stop being ashamed of the fact that it's a nationalist party, Feiglin said. The party is constantly being swept to the left, he added, pointing out that the Likud originally supported the establishment of a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River.
Feiglin rebuffed claims that Likud will lose voter support because he and other strongly nationalist candidates are relatively high on the party list. Such fears are mud slung by Kadima and Labor... If the Likud does not spread the mud around, it won't stick.
Feiglin advised Netanyahu to stick to the Likud's nationalist ideology. Netanyahu was elected and is going to get a lot of mandates in order to create an alternative to the path set out by the Left. If you deny your ideological approach, you're in trouble.
Earlier on Tuesday, Likud candidate Ofir Akunis filed an appeal to move regional representatives to higher slots on the party list. The move would bump Feiglin and some of his chosen candidates further down the list, and it was widely seen as an attempt to keep Feiglin out of the Knesset.
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