Many immigrants to Israel from English speaking countries got elected to the
Likud central committee in Tuesday’s election, according to official results
released on the party’s website Thursday night.
The head of the Likud
Anglos organization, Daniel Tauber, finished sixth among more than 300
candidates for the 171 slots in the central committee reserved for
Jerusalemites. An immigrant from Staten Island, New York, Tauber said he wished
the election would have been cleaner and more ideological and less based on
“It felt less like democracy and more like the game show
Let’s Make a Deal,” said Tauber, 28. “This culture of backroom deals is very
bad. I expected there to be a dirty side to all politics, but I didn’t know that
in Jerusalem, politics is Chicago style.”
Tauber said there were at least
3,000 people identified as coming from English-speaking countries on the Likud
membership list and his organization would try to reach out to all of them in
order to advance key issues affecting immigrants from English speaking
“Now I am inside, and once you’re inside, you can get more
information to help people,” Tauber said.
Jonathan Leci, who made aliya
from England, was also elected in Jerusalem. Another new central committee
member from England is Sonya Graham of Ra’anana.
Many of the
speakers elected to the central committee were backed by Likud activist
Feiglin’s Manhigut Yehudit organization. In a deal in Beit
Shemesh between former mayoral candidate Shalom Lerner, who has lived in New York,
Baltimore and London, Feiglin’s representative in Beit
Shemesh, Aryeh Sonnenberg, who is from Baltimore, Leah Karp
Melbourne, Gershon Kagan from New Jersey and Batya Jerenberg, David
and Yonatan “Buddy” Lipsky from New York were elected.
In Efrat, Moshe Kopel, Avi Abelow and Michael Fishburger of New York were elected.
In Ma’aleh Adumim, Likud
activist Gideon Ariel, who is from Queens, New York, succeeded in getting
several American immigrants elected to the central committee, including Ze’ev
Orenstein from New Jersey, Aryeh Blumberg from Missouri and Yitzhak and Avraham
Klein from Boston.
“Anglos who make aliya are often quite active and
often quite right-wing,” Ariel said. “It only makes sense that Anglo immigrants
find a natural home in the Likud and want to make an impact. It took us a while
to realize that the Likud central committee is the way to do it, but it looks
like the tipping point has been reached.”