Feiglin Establishing New Party for Next Knesset Election

Noted for his right-wing views, former MK says he should have quit Likud and launched his new Israeli-Jewish Identitity Movement a year ago.

Ofer Vaknin

Former Likud Knesset member Moshe Feiglin plans to establish a new political party, Zehut – Israeli-Jewish Identity Movement, to run in the next Knesset elections.

“I definitely feel that I have gone from slavery to freedom,” said Feiglin, a few days after the 20th Knesset was sworn in. After being pushed down to 37th spot on the Likud slate in the recent elections and not making it into the Knesset, Feiglin announced that he was leaving the party. He has since gone back to writing articles on current events, which he stopped during the two years in which he served as an MK.

Feiglin says he is now building an independent and free alternative. Although admitting that it is easier to run from within the ruling party, he acknowledges hitting a glass ceiling, beyond which he could not progress to fulfill the goals he set 20 years ago.

He is well-known for his rightist views and was active in such issues as allowing Jews to visit and pray on the Temple Mount. However, he drew a lot of attention in the last Knesset – from all sides of the political spectrum – for his strong views in favor of legalizing marijuana, and his Knesset protest against the harvesting of organs from live prisoners in China.

Feiglin said his decision to establish Zehut did not stem from his recent electoral failure, but goes back eight years. “I waited too long. I should have done this a year ago,” he said, adding, “I am not mad at Likud or have any feeling of revenge.”

Before the election, Feiglin wrote, “The upcoming elections have forced people to think about their options. Many have concluded that the parties currently running offer them nothing, and are searching for a leadership alternative ... As long as you do not know who you are, you do not recognize your own borders and cannot make peace. As long as you do not know who you are, you are not truly free: You belong to the state instead of the state belonging to you ... Both right and left completely lack the foundation of identity, which creates the liberty that would allow us to exit the plain of the problem and enter the plain of the solution. Israel’s identity crisis is the root of all these crises. Identity, my friends, is the solution,” he wrote.