PM: Dilute power of Likudniks in settlements

Netanyahu apparently concerned Judea and Samaria residents will put obstacles before his future diplomatic moves.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 29, 2011 05:03
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Knesset c'tee

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at FADC 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene Likud’s central committee in two weeks in an effort to prevent residents of Judea and Samaria and other hawks from obtaining too much power in the party, Netanyahu told his faction at the Knesset on Monday.

More than 100,000 Likud members will be eligible to vote for a new committee on January 31. Places on the committee are allocated to representatives of Likud branches across the country. Netanyahu said he would ask the committee to approve a 30 percent increase in the number of committee members allocated to cities in order to dilute the power of Likud branches in Judea and Samaria.

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Sources close to Netanyahu said the numbers of committee members from the West Bank rose artificially due to an outdated rule passed in 1992. The rule sets the number of committee members from Judea and Samaria based on how many people in the region voted Likud in the last election.

In other regions, the committee member totals are based on the region’s voter registration drive.

“This is a reasonable way to deal with the situation,” Netanyahu said, according to those present in the closed-door meeting.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom and Government Services Minister Michael Eitan asked Netanyahu in the meeting why he needs to bother with such things.

The prime minister is apparently concerned Judea and Samaria residents will use the committee to put obstacles before his future diplomatic moves. In the first three months after the new committee is elected, its members will be permitted to change the party’s constitution with a simple majority, rather than the two-thirds majority required most of the time.

Netanyahu convened ministers and advisers to discuss the issue on Sunday. Ministers Moshe Kahlon and Yisrael Katz and Likud Director-General Gadi Arieli took part in the meeting. One participant said Netanyahu was willing to go to court in order to fight against the settlers’ over-representation on the central committee.


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