Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

December 10, 2008

by Mel Frykberg – Middle East Times


JERUSALEM – Israel’s upcoming general elections early next year could see some of the country’s most BENJAMIN NETANYAHUextreme right-wing elements, accused of being racist by some, winning the elections.

Right-wing poster boy Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Israeli prime minister, and chairman of the right-wing party Likud, is battling even more extreme elements in his own party in a bid to become Israel’s next prime minister.

He will face off against Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the chairman of the more centrist and ruling party Kadima, to lead the country. Current opinion polls indicate Netanyahu to be in the lead.

Likud held its primaries on Monday to prepare a list of candidates for the Knesset (Israeli parliament) with those from the far right making a strong showing.

Netanyahu had hoped that the more moderate elements he had brought into the party would help the party maintain a more moderate image. But during the primary hardliners captured and dominated the first 20 spots.

Chief extremist to make huge political gains and threaten Netanyahu’s chairmanship was Moshe Feiglin, a fan of the early fascist and Zionist pioneer, Zeev Jabotinsky, who hailed from Russia.

His strong showing prompted incumbent premier Ehud Olmert to comment that Likud had turned from a party of peace to an extreme right faction.

“The Likud, which was once a party of peace, has turned into an extreme rightist party, which will lead the state of Israel into a corner of isolation and which will bring us back to grave times,” said DOLFIE HITLER ... RAGING MADOlmert.

Livni also had little sympathy for Netanyahu’s plight. “The list is not my problem, it’s Bibi’s [a nickname for Netanyahu] problem. It’s a weight around his legs, not mine.”

Even Kadima member Tzahi Hanegbi, a former right-wing extremist himself and son of Geula Cohen, one of Likud’s founders and a strong supporter of Israel’s controversial settler movement, lamented the party’s swing to the right.

Hanegbi was against the evacuation of Gaza’s settlements and charged years ago with attacking Israeli-Arab students with chains during an altercation at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

“Netanyahu’s dream team became his nightmare. The stars are out and the rebels are in. The Likud rebels are rebels no longer, they are the rulers,” said Hanegbi.

The controversy surrounding Feiglin, who won 20th position on the Kadima list and stands a good chance of being elected to the Knesset, is based on some of his more outrageous statements and his extreme ideology.

During an interview in 1995 with the Israeli daily Haaretz Feiglin shared his thoughts on Hitler and his policies.

“Hitler was an unparalleled military genius. Nazism promoted Germany from a low to a fantastic physical and ideological status.

“The ragged, trashy youth body turned into a neat and orderly part of society and Germany received an exemplary regime, a proper justice system and public order.

“Hitler savored good music. He would paint. This was no bunch of thugs. They merely used thugs and homosexuals,” said Feiglin.

Feiglin also gave his candid opinion on the Palestinians, whom he said didn’t really exist.

“There is no Palestinian nation. There is only an Arab-speaking public which has suddenly identified itself as a people, a negative of the Zionist movement, parasites.

“The fact that they hadn’t done so earlier only serves to prove how inferior they are. The Africans have no nations either. Only Zulus, Tutsis,” he MOSHE FEIGLINadded.

Acerbic analyst, political commentator and former chairman of the left-wing peace party Meretz, Yossi Sarid, lashed out at Feiglin in a stinging commentary in Haaretz.

“The time has come to break free from the shackles of politically correct speech and call these people – Feiglin and his cronies – by their explicit name.

“They are not ‘radicals’ but fascists by any acceptable definition. And had they not been born – through no fault of their own – to Jewish mothers, they would have been damn anti-Semites to boot,” asserted Sarid.

Should Feiglin eventually take over Likud and should Likud win the forthcoming general elections it would be stating the obvious to say that peace talks with the Palestinians and the domino effect of stability in the region, don’t stand a fighting chance.

And while Feiglin might be Netanyahu’s political nemesis and nightmare, he could well turn out to be the entire region’s nightmare to boot.



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