Former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin penned a letter to his supporters at week's end in which he made clear that he no longer sees Judea and Samaria as his primary voter base. Instead, he pointed to Tel Aviv, and identified his foremost achievements as MK as being in the libertarian field.
Feiglin proudly identified his accomplishments as "the liberal discourse, the great innovation that freedom is achieved through identity and not, as people always thought, through loss of identity, the original way of thinking, the honesty and intellectual integrity, the insistence on our principles out of respect and respectful discourse with all the Knesset's factions, the fact that we dealt with the widest spectrum of the public's needs, from medicines for the sick to organ harvesting in China."
He further analyzed the political processes involved in his loss of his Knesset seat and said that his real problem inside Likud was that outside of his core support base from the Zo Artzenu movement, he relied too heavily on people from the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria who were not true adherents of his policies.
It was these people who he said let him down, again and again, in Likud primaries. Feiglin vowed that his new movement, Zehut, would rely on supporters from Tel Aviv, whom he apparently seeks to win over by virtue of his libertarian views.
"We love the settlers and appreciate them very much, and they, too, are happily invited to join,” he wrote. "But they are not our central target audience.”
“Our goal is Tel Aviv,” he determined. “If we succeed in Tel Aviv, we will lead the nation. If we fail – we will not even pass the threshold.”
The 'symbiotic link' to Hazan
Feiglin also pointed to what he saw as a “symbiotic” link between his political fate and that of MK Oren Hazan and his father, ex-Likud MK Yehiel Hazan.
This rumination was brought on by a flurry of requests from the media to interview Feiglin, in the aftermath of the Hazan affair – a media-driven scandal involving allegations that Hazan ran a casino in Bulgaria and arranged call girls and drugs for casino clients.
Feiglin quoted Maariv's Ben Caspit, who observed that in the run-up to 2003 elections to the 16th Knesset, Yehiel Hazan “managed to sneak into the 31st slot in Likud's list as the representative of the settlers, only because the candidate facing him was Feiglin.”
"The effort to keep Feiglin from membership in the Knesset brought a stray weed like Hazan into the Knesset. A few Knesset terms later, the son managed to place himself in the 30th slot, only because the candidate facing him, on the 'Likud Youth' spot, was identified with Feiglin. Nu, that succeeded too. Both of them, father and son, were elected to represent us because of the primeval fear of Moshe Feiglin. I prefer ten Feiglins in the Knesset to one Hazan.”
Feiglin refused the interviews because he did not want to go into “that muck” but agreed that there was a pattern here: just as Likud preferred the elder Hazan to him in the 16th Knesset, it preferred the younger Hazan to Shai Malka, Feiglin's right hand man, in the latest election.
The Hazans live in Ariel, in Samaria, and many of their supporters were potential Feiglin supporters.