Netanyahu exults in triumph over Feiglin - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Netanyahu - Mutiny quelled, for now Photo: AP
Netanyahu - Mutiny quelled, for now Photo: AP
Feiglin - No appeal expected Photo: Ofer Amram
Feiglin - No appeal expected Photo: Ofer Amram

Netanyahu exults in triumph over Feiglin

Few tears were shed by Likud chairman and his associates for hardliner rival after trouncing his ascent in crafty political maneuver. 'Now Bibi can sleep soundly, the Likud has a much better roster now,' say aides

Amnon Meranda
Published: 12.12.08, 00:58 / Israel News

"We have taken down the flag of rebellion," the Likud Party stated Thursday following the decision of its court to bump hardliner Moshe Feiglin from the 20th slot on the roster to number 36.


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An associate of Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu added, "Now Bibi can sleep soundly, the Likud has a much better roster. Feiglin, who had announced that he would appeal the decision, later decided against such action, saying, "I don't believe in the High Court of Justice. They won't put me in the Knesset."


Netanyahu was informed of the decision shortly after it was made and his associate said, "There were no tears in his eyes regarding the decision and it would be difficult to say he was sorry."


Another associate added, "There is no doubt that bumping Feiglin was for the good of the Likud. His opinions are problematic and it would have come out during the elections and harmed the party."


Risky move paid off

The legal battle against Feiglin was waged – at least officially – by Netanyahu's associate, Ophir Ekonis. Among his advisors, many were opposed to the move.


Some of Netanyahu's advisors said the ongoing occupation with the issue and its coverage in the media would cause public damage, and should be avoided. Eventually, however, the move resulted in a victory for Netanyahu.


His associates said the victory may limit the amount of criticism heaped on Netanyahu recently and quell the turmoil in the party. Immediately after the decision was made, Netanyahu sought to calm senior party officials, some of whom were harmed by the new roster.


MK Limor Livnat, who lost her place as the highest ranking woman in the party to Dr. Leah Ness, met with the chairman and shortly afterwards told Ynet: "We met to discuss Likud's preparation for the upcoming election."


A similar meeting took place between Netanyahu and MK Silvan Shalom, who landed the 7th slot on the roster.


The Feiglin affair took its effect on other members as well. Michael Ratzon, who was bumped from the 24th slot to number 37, said that "the Elections Committee's decision is a desecration of democracy." He claimed that Netanyahu had "twisted the arms of the committee members", and that he would fight the move.


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