Feiglin’s Zehut Gives Diaspora a Vote

Former MK Moshe Feiglin attending a conference of the newly established Zehut Party in Tel Aviv in February 2017. (Flash90)

The Jews of the Diaspora will soon have their first shot at a seat in the Knesset, with Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut Party, which has reserved a place on its electoral list for a candidate living abroad, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Feiglin, a former Likud MK, said he looks forward to the day when Jews around the world will have the right to vote directly for the Knesset; but meanwhile his party is arranging for the 250 Zehut members abroad to vote for a representative who will be No. 10 on the list. The candidate will be chosen in a special election on Sunday.

“This is important because it’s the first time anyone in Israeli politics gave practical expression to Israel being a Jewish state for all the Jews in the world, even those who have not yet made aliyah,” Feiglin said. “Frankly, I don’t think any other party is capable of thinking outside the box.”

However, as required by law, the candidates must be citizens and residents of Israel. The three people running are: former Uruguay chief rabbi Ben Zion Spitz, dog trainer David Sidman, and libertarian activist Rafi Farber.

Zehut currently has no seats in the Knesset, but the tenth spot on the list may not be as unrealistic as it sounds. A 2016 Maagar Mohot poll of 500 respondents of the Israeli Jewish population sponsored by Zehut, found that the party could win 12 seats. However, media-sponsored polls routinely do not include Zehut in their research.

While Feiglin is national-religious, the party’s composition and appeal is much broader. Supporters and potential supporters defined themselves along the spectrum from right to center and even left wing. Most said they are not religious.

Feiglin’s strategy is to take votes from disaffected Likud voters and weakly identified Yesh Atid voters.

The party advocates keeping the entire land of Israel in any peace agreement with the Palestinians, favors a free economy, smaller government and vouchers for education.

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