Moshe Feiglin was born in Haifa on July 31, 1962, the son of Ya’akov Zvi and Esther Feiglin, and grew up in a family with representatives from almost all streams in Israel – religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox, leftist, right-wing and everything in between.
The Feiglin family’s roots are deep in the Land of Israel. In 1889, Feiglin’s ancestors arrived in Israel in order to fulfill the mitzvah of settling the land in its simplest form – through construction and agriculture. The family members were among the founders of the first moshavot in the north – Mishmar HaYarden, Hadera, Kinneret and more. Moshe’s grandfather, Avraham Feiglin, was the first child born in the settlement of Metula, and his father, Yaakov Tzvi, served in the Hebrew Settlements Police and was one of the pioneers of the textile industry in Israel.
Feiglin attended the “Tachkemoni” school in Rehovot and later the “Or Etzion” High School. Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in combat engineering, fought in the 1982 Lebanon War, and was discharged with the rank of captain.
After the army, he established the first company in Israel to service the external maintenance of tall buildings and a hi-tech company.
Angered by the signing of the Oslo Accords, Feiglin transferred ownership of the hi-tech company to a friend to free his time for activism in the Zo Artzeinu (“This is our Land’ Movement”) movement he founded. The group organized demonstrations and opposition to the Oslo agreement and Feiglin was arrested for “break[ing] the barrier of obedience to the rule of law” and incitement to commit crimes. He was sentenced to six months in prison in 1997, but the sentence was later reduced to performing community service.
Realizing the protest movement had little impact, Feiglin decided he could have more influence by entering politics. In 2000, Feiglin joined the Likud and established the “Jewish Leadership Faction of the Likud.” In, 2012, he won a seat in the Nineteenth Knesset.
Feiglin was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and served as a member of nine committees: the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the Interior and Environment Committee, the House Committee, the Economics Committee, the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, the Public Complaints Committee, the Subcommittee on the Control of Traffic Accidents, the State Control Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
In addition, he served as Chairman of the Israel-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group (together with MK Nachman Shai). He also founded and served as chairman of three lobbies: the Lobby for Raising Awareness of Parkinson’s Disease, the Lobby for the Professional Army and the Liberal Lobby.
Resignation from the Likud
Following the Likud primaries in December 2014, Feiglin realized his place on the party made it unlikely he would win a Knesset seat and decided to found his own party. In March 2015, Feiglin announced the establishment of the “Zehut – the Israeli Jewish Movement” party. The goals of the party are a Jewish state that maximizes freedom for the citizen, fortifies the values of family and community, maintains a free economy, realizes its sovereignty over all parts of the Land of Israel under its control – first among them, the Temple Mount – and endeavors to end the state of war and bloodshed by means of defeating the enemy.
Feiglin also opposes the establishment of religious political parties and has come out against legislation such as the Chametz Law, which forbids selling leavened products on Passover. He supports civil marriage and the legalization of cannabis.
Feiglin advocates annexing the disputed territories and offering financial incentive for Palestinian families in these areas to emigrate to other countries. In his 2005 book, War of Dreams, Feiglin wrote that his program was: “Israeli citizenship to Jews only [and] the immediate expulsion of any person of another people who claims any sort of sovereignty in the Land of Israel.” He has also said Israeli Arabs found guilty of helping Israel’s enemies should be stripped of their citizenship and that non-Jews should have no say in government policy.
Feiglin authored an article in 2009 entitled, “I Am A Proud Homophobe,” and argued that “homosexual ‘rights’ undermine the normative family, the foundation of our nation.” After his election to the Knesset, Feiglin met with groups representing gay Israelis and told them he supports their rights as individuals.
During his 2013 campaign, Feiglin expressed his view that the role of women in Israeli society should be based on Jewish Biblical principles. He supported a Jerusalem city government decision to allow public buses to be segregated based on sex to accommodate ultra-Orthodox Jews who opposed mixed seating. He also opposes the Israeli army’s decision to allow women into combat units.
Feiglin is married to Tzippy, and is the father of five children and nine grandchildren.