Cleaning out the Likud...
Bibi Netanyahu's efforts to cleanse the Likud of it's criminal elements (read: to get rid of Moshe Feiglin) are a true litmus test as to where the party now stands in relation to what it once stood for.
Bibi Netanyahu is advocating that the Likud Central Committee approve a change to the party's constitution that would ban anyone with a criminal record and a jail sentence of at least three months from running for Knesset (Courtesy of Arutz-7).
In Nov. 1997, Feiglin - as leader of the anti-Oslo Zo Artzeinu (This is Our Land) organization - was sentenced to six months in prison, which he was permitted to convert to six months of public service. He had been convicted two months earlier of "sedition" for organizing massive road blockades in the framework of anti-Oslo protests in 1994.
In handing down the sentence, the judges said that the government should learn from this affair to be more attuned to the opinions of large sectors of the society. They said that the defendants carried out a "sincere protest" in pure faith, and that they represented the opinion of many who felt that the government was purposely ignoring them...
Feiglin was not allowed to run in the last Knesset election, by Supreme Court order. In January 2003, the Court sustained the Election Commission's ruling to disqualify him, claiming that his conviction on charges of "sedition" - for organizing road-block protests of the Oslo Accords - was a crime involving "moral turpitude." Israeli law states that conviction of such a crime makes one ineligible to run for Knesset for seven years.
Bibi has made it clear that the Likud is no longer the party for those who are opposed to the Oslo Accords, and other such "peace" initiatives.
Moshe Feiglin, however, should not feel alone in his abandonment by the new Likud.
The law that Bibi is working to implement would likely have disqualified Ze'ev Jabotinsky - founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement (and predecessor to the Likud) - from running for a slot in the Knesset, as he was exiled from Palestine for his Zionist activities by the British.
Additionally, two former Likud Prime Ministers, Menachem Begin (former head of the Irgun) and Yitzchak Shamir (Lehi) were viewed as terrorists by the ruling British authorities during the British mandate of Palestine, would also likely have been disqualified from representing the Likud in the Knesset.
What about Natan Sharansky? he is another member of the Likud with a criminal record, having spent over a decade in numerous prisons and work camps throughout the former Soviet Union.
What Moshe Feiglin has in common with the likes of Begin, Shamir, Jabotinsky and Sharansky is that they all were principled individuals who fought for the rights of the Jewish People and of the right of the Jewish People to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel - and who were prepared to stand up for their beliefs, even in the face of corrupt regimes that branded them as criminals.
Bibi Netanyahu has no place amongst men such as these. Bibi Netanyahu represents the antithesis of these values - one whose political positions change with the wind. Bibi Netanyahu represents the new Likud - whose relation to the original Likud being in name only.
Welcome to the new, cleaner Likud.