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.
RELATED:PM scrambling to stop hawks from over-taking Likud
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.
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committee members from the West Bank rose artificially due to an outdated rule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
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
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom and Government Services Minister
Michael Eitan asked Netanyahu in the meeting why he needs to bother with such
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.
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.