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Maverick far-right Feiglin announces political comeback, will run in Likud primaries

Zehut party leader Moshe Feiglin at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Kfar Hamacabiah in Ramat Gan announcing Zehut's withdrawal from the September elections, on August 29, 2019. (Flash90)
Zehut party leader Moshe Feiglin at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Kfar Hamacabiah in Ramat Gan announcing Zehut's withdrawal from the September elections, on August 29, 2019. (Flash90)

Former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, known for his extremist views, announces that he will seek a spot on the party’s electoral slate in the upcoming elections, returning to the party after attempting — and failing — to enter the parliament with a party of his own.

In a statement, Feiglin says he is running in the Likud primaries — expected in mid-August — to ensure Israel remains “a Jewish majority state.”

“A year ago, when the biggest election fraud in our history robbed the Jewish state of the Jewish majority and established a government of all its citizens, Israel actually became an all-Arab state and entered a deep crisis in all areas of our lives,” he says, referring to Naftali Bennett’s decision to form an ideologically diverse coalition that included the Islamist Ra’am party, which fell apart last month.

“When the extent of the disaster became clear, I decided that the time had come to unite forces, and, precisely in this difficult time, return to Likud, strengthen the Jewish majority and return our Jewish state to us,” Feiglin says.

Feiglin represented Likud in the Knesset between 2013 and 2015, until he was pushed out for his maverick attitude and extreme positions, eventually forming the right-wing libertarian Zehut party. Zehut was poised to be the surprise of the elections in April 2019 but ended up failing in that vote and withdrawing from the September one. The party did not run in the 2020 or 2021 elections, saying it would continue operating and promoting its agenda outside the political arena.

Zehut and Feiglin advocated far-right nationalism combined with small-government libertarianism, and drew support from an eclectic mix of voters ranging from far-right settlement yeshiva students to pot legalization advocates in left-leaning Tel Aviv. It advocated annexing the West Bank and retaking Gaza, alongside the virtual dismantling of the state rabbinate and other Orthodox-controlled state religious services, and the total legalization of pot, including for recreational use.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Feiglin repeatedly expressed anti-vaccination views during Knesset Health Committee meetings he is still allowed to attend as a former MK. He has also participated in anti-vax protests and is considered a popular figure among activists in Israel.

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