Netanyahu Warns Likud MKs: Don't Support Feiglin

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu threatened yesterday that any party MK who rallies support for far-right activist Moshe Feiglin in Likud's primary for its Knesset list would not be appointed minister.

"Placing Feiglin on Likud's Knesset list would harm Likud's strength. Feiglin is not Likud. He is extreme right," Netanyahu said.

Likud's central committee convenes today to determine whether an immigrant candidate will be elected to the party's list in a special process. This would prevent Feiglin's representative Asia Antov from gaining a spot on the list.

Netanyahu is mustering all his power to prevent Feiglin, head of Likud's Jewish Leadership faction, from being elected to a slot on the Knesset list that might get him into parliament.

Feiglin commands a bloc vote of 6,000 to 7,000 Likud members, so any deal another Likud camp might make with him would be effective. Netanyahu fears that party MKs and candidates for the Knesset list might make secret deals with the Feiglin camp. His greatest fear is that with Feiglin on the list, Kadima will portray Likud as a radical right party.

"Feiglin leeched onto Likud, he's not part of our movement," a source close to Netanyahu said. "He preaches disobedience in the army. He has exploited democracy in Likud to penetrate with his people into the party. We have no legal way to prevent it but we can distance ourselves from him publicly."

Others believe Netanyahu must ignore Feiglin and that fighting him openly strengthens him.