Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Moshe Feiglin, Is He...?

Many people expect me to be a Moshe Feiglin supporter. A lot of people I respect are, but...

Yes, but... I'm not.

Politics isn't just a matter of having the right policies. Politics is the most complicated of all fields. Lots of people have the "right ideas" in theory, but getting elected and putting them into practice are the problems.

"Getting elected" is a very broad topic.

  • personal charisma

  • campaign-- the targeted electorate and technique

  • in Israel, choice of party, existing or new, must also be taken into account

I'm told that Moshe Feiglin has many of the same ideas I have about what's good for the State of Israel and the Jewish People. But (yes that word) from the moment he announced that he was taking over the Likud, that the present members aren't real Likudniks etc I groaned, gevalt. That's not how you win supporters and influence people.

"Takeovers" are most successful when there's an element of surprise. That way there's less opposition; be a Trojan Horse. As the saying goes, you can win more with honey than vinegar.

And another very important point, you must campaign to all and not limit yourself to just religious or secular. Feiglin is clearly marketing himself to the religious public instead of to all Israelis.

And, yes, the bottom line is that I'm still searching for an Israeli politician and political party to support and trust.


goyisherebbe said...

I respect Moshe Feiglin very much, but I also have grave doubts as to whether he will succeed. He himself, while sure that political change through a mass movement based on Jewish ideas will ultimately triumph, is far from sure that he and his particular tactics will be successful or that he personally will be the head of the movement which will eventually succeed. I don't think he was trying to take over the Likud by stealth. He has said on many occasions that the process of taking over the Likud is a long road of many years. He also is not talking in the language of the specifically religious public. He speaks of basic faith in G-d and the Jewish identity of the state, which was vintage Menachem Begin. He mentions time and again that he is reaching many people who are not kipa-wearing Jews. He distinguishes himself in this way from the NU-NRP, which from the outset was pretty much doomed to be a sectoral party. The sectorality of the NU-NRP was what led MK Aryeh Eldad to form the Hatikva movement.
So why aren't Eldad and Feiglin working together? Ask them.
The other problem I have with Feiglin is that for the last few years after the Zo Artzeinu trial, Feiglin has crafted one intelligent argument after another, all of which come down to justifications for inaction. I've asked Feiglin about this and he comes up with intelligent answers that I don't know whether to believe.
The problem is that I have come to the conclusion that the elections are really subtly rigged. The one time they had a referendum honestly run, in the Likud on Gush Katif, Sharon lost. He went ahead and did what he wanted anyway. We should meditate in depth on this fact and take heart. If a real Jewish leader of the people were ever at the head of the government, he could take on the Supreme Court and win. The problem is either fear or lack of inclination. We are still in Golus.
But as for Knesset elections, the befuddled masses still don't get it. Every election there are one or more splinter parties elected which are set up for buy-outs. The Gil Pensioners' Party grabbed up supposedly anti-establishment votes in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, but they were the opposite of anti-establishment. They were the aged moldy sour cream of the establishment. All were older people who had held important positions when they were younger, including Rafi Eitan, who was was Jonathan Pollard's handler and turned him over to the Americans. Later he expressed reget at not having had him killed!
Moshe Feiglin is right that the way out of this will probably take many years, but the question is whether he is part of the solution or part of the problem.
Up to now I have been staying in as a member of Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) in the Likud, but if someone proposes a better mouse-trap, I will check it out seriously.

Lady-Light said...

Batya, there is truth and honesty in what you say: Moshe Feiglin needs to work on a persona which can represent all the Israeli population, not merely a segment of it. He needs to work on charisma (-he doesn't have much) but that said,the ideas he wants to impliment for the future viability of the state of Israel are good ones.
The mere fact that you indicate that 'people expect you to be a Feiglin fan' speaks volumes: there is no one else out there! At this point, he seems to be our only hope.
I see positive changes in his presentations and demeanor (he must be listening to astute advisors), as in 1) friendlier speeches:he smiles a bit more, and tries to exude a little more 'love'- nobody wants to vote for an angry, frowning candidate, and 2) more professional-looking videos. Just to make a point, compare his style with say, Mr. Barak Obama, the U.S. Democratic nominee for president: the difference in oratory and poise is mind-boggling; but although Obama's rhetoric is flowery and full of imagery he hadn't said very much that was concrete, and waffled on the status of Jerusalem. Moshe Feiglin has laid out his plan for the "First Hundred Days in Office," and one knows where he stands.
He just needs to learn to be more of a Hollywood actor, that's all.

Batya said...

goyish, ll, thanks for the excellent comments.

"So why aren't Eldad and Feiglin working together? Ask them."
Feiglin should be openly courting Eldad and his followers, and he isn't. You can only win and be effective if you go for numbers. He should be going after Merzel, too.

For the sake of Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, they should be working together.

I tried making some inroads in Hatikvah, and gave up.

Esser Agaroth said...


I've been a registered member of the Likud for at about seven years, I guess, so that I can vote for Feiglin.

It was a good idea at the time. It's time to move on, I think. He could join the NU and bring everyone of his supporters with him.

I tried to cancel membership this year, but mysteriously, I could never find a number, and the office in J-M always seems to be closed.

Can you help out with your connections, so that I can cancel my membership?

Batya said...

I hope NU isn't just NRP in disguise. Can't help now, but G-d willing when I'm back from my kibbud av v'em trip.