Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon presented a formidable challenge to US
Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday night, when he told his loyalists that
from next week onward, diplomatic plans must pass a vote in the hawkish Likud
Danon won the ceremonial title of
Likud convention chairman in Tuesday’s race, with an overwhelming majority of 86% of the vote.
He is also the leading candidate for the powerful post of Likud
central committee chairman in an election that will be held Sunday.
party has been in a coma lately,” Danon told his loyalists at a muscle-flexing
rally in Tel Aviv. “We will help lift up the Likud with energy like it had was
when I was a child. We will restore the party’s soul.”
Danon said he was
more committed than ever to the goal he set when he entered politics: preventing
Israel from giving up land in Judea and Samaria. He mocked the Left’s ability to
stop him from achieving that goal.
“The weak Left doesn’t know how to
deal with ideas, principles or ideology,” Danon told the activists. “To maintain
the Land of Israel, we need to do it with political work. We cannot afford to
sit on our hands.”
Danon reassured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that
he need not worry about him using the central committee to act against him
personally. He noted that the Likud has had only four leaders since 1948, unlike
the Left which has had more than a dozen.
“We don’t act against our party
chairman,” Danon said. “We don’t undermine our leaders like the Left
does. They can’t teach us loyalty.”
Besides the chairmanship of
their own committee, the Likud’s 3,600 central committee members will be
eligible to vote on Sunday for chairman of the Likud’s governing secretariat,
its ideological committee and its internal court. The two candidates for the
secretariat, Transportation Minister Israel Katz and MK Miri Regev, spent
Tuesday campaigning at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
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