Likud welcomes 20,000 new members, 2000 brought by Moshe Feiglin

Feiglin makes no secret of his aim to head the party he left & intends to rejoin.

Hezki Baruch ,

The Likud party
The Likud party
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Likud party is celebrating 20,000 new members in the last few months, following a huge membership drive that saw the total number of party members rise from 120,000 to 140,000.

At least 2000 of the new members were recruited by Moshe Feiglin, a former Likud MK who left and recently announced his pending return.

Feiglin once headed his own party, named “Zehut” (identity), but decided to rejoin the Likud several months ago. In an interview on Arutz Sheva, he freely admitted his intention to head the party some day.

“In the long term, that’s certainly my aim, and I’m not pretending otherwise,” he said. When that happens, “the party will behave completely differently – it will be a different type of Likud.”

He added that he had told the former premier of his intentions before he made them public. “I met with Netanyahu, and he knew that I was planning to rejoin Likud a long time before the general public did,” Feiglin said. “I have no intention of being part of a putsch, the way things were done in the past three years, using indictments to override the will of the electorate and launching a crusade against the elected leader,” he insisted. “Not that I don’t have a problem with many of the things he does, but I don’t work that way.”

Feiglin singled out Netanyahu’s overtures to the Ra’am party (United Arab List) for particular censure.

“I think that Netanyahu made a big mistake in going after Ra’am and the Arabs – I have no doubt that he would have acted exactly as Bennett has in that respect,” Feiglin said. “And I don’t take back any of the criticisms I’ve made of Netanyahu over the years. I stand behind everything I’ve said.”

According to Channel 12’s political commentator, Amit Segal, however, it will be Israel’s current ambassador to Washington D.C. who replaces Netanyahu as Likud party leader, not Feiglin. Speaking on Galei Yisrael on Sunday, Segal was asked who he tipped to succeed Netanyahu, and he responded: Gilad Erdan.

“I think his chances are pretty good,” Segal said. “Nir Barkat has a lot of money behind him, but his ideology is a bit suspect. Yisrael Katz and Yuli Edelstein aren’t taking off, so Erdan is my best bet.”