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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The Real Story About the Internal Struggle Taking Place Within the Likud Party

For those of you who follow current events in Israel and dabble in trying to understand Israeli politics, then keep on reading. For those of you don't have time for this, then just press delete now and don't waste your time reading about events that will have an impact on determining the future of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael.

Your decision......

I'm including in this email some background information to the real story of what is happening within the Likud party right now. I'm party to this information because I'm an activist of Manhigut Yehudit, the faction within the Likud Party that is trying to take over the leadership of the Likud.

The Israeli media has wrongly portrayed this last week's Likud convention as a central event because Sharon dared to introduce his diplomatic plan to the members of the Likud's central committee, the Likud organizational body that decides upon the party platform upon which the party is supposed to act upon in the government.

The real story of the convention is that it was a public showing of the internal struggle taking place among the party faithful over the soul of the party and its activities in the government. On the one side of the struggle there is Sharon and his followers and on the other side is Moshe Fieglin, of the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud and other Likud party factions.

The struggle
Sharon: He wants to lead the party the way he decides even though his policy decisions go against the party platform.

Feiglin: He wants the party to be led according to the party platform, since the government representatives of the party were sent to the goverment to determine policy according to the party platform. Those MKs or Ministers who make policy decisions against the party platform should not be allowed to run on the Likud party list but should find another political home.

It is obvious that this step is meant to place a roadblock before Sharon in his quest to receive the support of Likud MKs and Ministers to vote for any diplomatic plan that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state or dismantling settlements since they contradict the Likud party platform.

This struggle was the main struggle that took place at the Likud convention. The Manhigut Yehudit faction proposed an amendment to the Likud constitution (titled section "19 gimmel") which states the following (paraphrased) - any Likud MK or Minister that votes against the party platform can not be on the party list for official government sponsored positions (MK, Minister, head of government run organization etc) for a 5 year period of time. This amendment to the party constitution was introduced at the convention and it will be voted upon at the next convention meeting in early February.

This amendment has great support among the Likud Central Committee members who make up the convention participants because a majority of them are against the way Sharon has hijacked the party and turned into his own personal fiefdom, disregarding the party platform and instead making it into a Labor/Meretz party.

This amendment is a threat to Sharon and his diplomatic agenda.

This is the crux of the battle that is taking place within the Likud and it is within this context that Limor Livnat, the Likud Education Minister, gave an interview to the media on the day of the convention delegitimizing the jewish Leadership faction and Mosh Feiglin as people who do not belong in the Likud and who are trying to take over the Likud party un-democratically. She further delegitmized the faction by mentioning "criminal elements taking over the Likud" in the same sentence when delegitimizing the Jewish Leadership faction. Yesterday a Sharon advisor went even further by associating the steps taken by Manhigut Yehudit by proposing this amendment as being identicle to how the Nazis came to power in Germany (this was written in yesterday's Haaretz by journalist Yossi Verter - Hard to believe but this is Israel 2004! This is proof that Sharon and his power brokers within the Likud are threatened by the Jewish Leadership faction.

This is the issue that will be taking place within the Likud for the future until Manhigut Yehudit takes over the leadership of the Likud and returns it to its path according to its party platform. Manhigut Yehudit is in this struggle until it is victorious because the alternative is not an option.

Please read the following links of official documentation from the party, including a TV interview with Moshe Feiglin on Israeli TV (with English subtitles) that took place before the Likud convention.

I also included a letter to the editor that appeared in yesterday's Jerusalem Post that sheds some light on the issue as well.


Letter to the Editor of the Jerusalem Post 1/6/04

Dear Sirs:

Limor Livnat rants and raves about "phony Likud activists," when in fact she and others who agree with her are the real "phonies." The goals of Likud, according to its own Constitution (section 2: Goals), are "preserving the right of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel, as a perpetual right that cannot be questioned, constant settlement and development of all parts of Eretz Israel, and imposition of the State's sovereignty over them." It's pretty clear, therefore, that the activities of the Manhigut Yehudit faction in the Likud are actually the closest thing we've got to the REAL Likud and its basic nationalist philosophy.

Contrary to her comment that Manhigut Yehudit's members only just joined Likud's ranks, I for one - and I'm certain I'm not alone - have been a member since just after I made aliyah over eight years ago, and I joined Likud specifically because its goals were my goals.

Perhaps Minister Livnat needs a brush-up course on her own party's ideals. Far from being a danger to the party or the state, in fact what we need are central committee and general members with strong ideological interests - in a word, activists. I suppose thanks are due her, for providing an opportunity to explain to her and to all others who seem to have forgotten, what the real Likud is and what it stands for.

Deborah Buckman

Beit Shemesh

Manhigut Yehudit Beit Shemesh


A Letter from the Director of Manhigut Yehudit to the Likud Central Committee members in preperation for the Likud convention:

TV Interview with Moshe Feiglin on Israel Channel 10 pre-convention:

Article about Manhigut Yehudit's focus on the fundamental need to mold Israel into becoming a Jewish state: (This article is important to read and a good introduction to part of the ideology that is behind Manhigut Yehudit and why it is called Manhigut Yehudit - Jewish Leadership)

A picture of Moshe Feiglin speaking about the proposed amendment (19 gimml) at the Likud convention:

You can sign up for Manhigut Yehudit by either calling the office at:

or by visiting the website below and sending a request form.

Together, with focused hishtadlut, patience and emunah we will bring about change for the betterment of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael.

Please pass this on.

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