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  • Moshe Feiglin, Founder of Zehut

Announcement of Primaries for the Leadership of the Movement

Dear Friends and Zehut members,

The crisis created in our party will be resolved through the democratic vote of all its members. In light of the crisis that has broken out in our party, and after an honest attempt and great effort to reach a compromise, I have decided that the continued existence of the party and the ability to fulfill its vision require me to ratify my authority as chairman anew and to subject myself again to the vote of all party members, by asking the highest body in the party – the entirety of its members – to entrust me with the position of chairman of the party, together with the authority to determine, only for the upcoming elections and due to time constraints, the composition of the list of party candidates for the 22nd Knesset, at my sole discretion. In the coming days, an electronic vote will be held among all party members. Each member, without exception, may submit his candidacy, vote, and be elected. The election regulations will be

sent today by email to all the members and will be published on the party’s website. Let me emphasize that the vote will give the elected chairman full authority to determine, for the coming elections only, at his sole discretion, the entire list for the 22nd Knesset. Background: When the Zehut party was established, I conceived and initiated the idea of ??the primaries. The concept of this was consistent with the concept of freedom and the granting of maximum authority to the citizen, which I hold up and believe in to the depths of my soul. No one has ever established a party in Israel based primarily on his reputation, and instead of retaining full authority and power, has handed over most of it to the general public. Not Lieberman, not Kahlon, not Lapid, not Deri, not Bennett – no one ever thought of such a “strange” move. We chose to do so – we took a party that had just been established and which, already in its first steps, has carried out an impressive process of internal primaries and open primaries. But such a move when carried out by a young party also has weaknesses. The small number of members at the beginning of the road allows for a hostile takeover. The list you choose may not be balanced (only religious candidates, or vice versa) and send the opposite message, and we may want to add a recognized public figure at the last minute to attract votes, or a figure that may help the party for any other reason. Therefore, we decided on a method that leaves 25% of the seats in the hands of the chairman and gives the general public the power to determine the composition of the list in 75% of the remaining places. Thus the Zehut list for the 21st Knesset was chosen. In the surprise elections for the 22nd Knesset, I planned to embark on an accelerated process of electing the chairman and after him, the entire primaries process for the Knesset list, and I began to talk with the candidates and prepare them for the move. But then the eVote company that had carried out the election for us informed us that it would not be able to hold open primaries among all Israeli citizens in such a short period of time. Sadly, I had to give up on the primaries. I turned to the Executive Committee and asked them to leave the results of the previous primaries in place and to reaffirm the authority of the Chairman to insert additional candidates – as he sees fit, according to the regulations – just as in the previous elections. I decided to relinquish the slot designated for the chairman’s insertion in second place and place Gilad Alper there, in third place to place my partner in the establishment of Zehut, party director Shai Malka, followed by the rest of the list without change. As a result of this change, some of the candidates were promoted one place on the list and some remained unchanged. No one was pushed back. My choice of Shai was meant to strengthen the faction’s ability in the Knesset. I felt that in the difficult struggles that we would have in the Knesset, Shai’s political experience and proven managerial abilities would greatly improve the functioning of the faction. Two of the candidates challenged the legitimacy of my decision. Before contacting me, they created a joint front and actually created a situation in which in order to obtain the cooperation of candidates for the Knesset, I would have to retract my decision. From that point forward, things deteriorated rapidly, to the point where the party was completely paralyzed. Shai Malka, the devoted man on whose shoulders the entire establishment and responsibility for its existence rests, turned to me and asked to be removed from the list in order to bring peace, and return the party to the proper path. On Saturday night, I turned to the two candidates and asked them to come to my house and finish the affair that night. I sat with one of them and a number of key activists who arrived at the same time, and I made an offer that I thought would be impossible to refuse. I suggested that I accept Shai’s proposal and allow him to leave the list and replace him with another person. I conditioned my offer on only one thing – a public apology to Shai for all the terrible bloodshed that had been inflicted on him. I thought that such a generous offer, in which I was yielding to their demands, in effect waiving the authority that had been granted to me, while all I asked them to do was to preserve the reputation of the man who has sacrificed more than anyone else for the party’s existence – I thought that such an offer would be accepted immediately. By morning, the argument with the two had continued, and in fact, until noon today. When I did not receive an answer, I decided to contact you directly. The reality that has become clear to me is that without an act of leadership, there will be no rebirth for the party. The good will that began with the greatest possible freedom of choice was abused by two candidates, and had led to the party being paralyzed as well as the loss of authority of the chairman and the director. It is impossible to lead like this. It is impossible to run things like this – not a party and not any corporation, either. Immediately after the elections, we will complete the establishment of the party’s institutions (a move that we began after the last elections) and will resume elections according to the previous primaries method. Dear friends. We are in a difficult crisis, which I believe we will mature from and emerge stronger and more experienced. A democratic and dignified approach to all the members of the party should be received with blessing and happiness by all those who profess democracy. I ask you to give me back your trust, to choose me as chairman of the party, with full authority to determine the composition of the list, at my sole discretion. For Zehut and Liberty

And to perfect the world in the kingdom of G-d Moshe Feiglin

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