Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The fight to succeed incoming ambassador to the UN Danny Danon as head of the Likud central committee and as science and technology minister has just begun, but a successor to one of his former roles has already been decided.
Danon’s deputy in the World Likud, Yaakov Hagoel, will take over his role at the helm of the international body of Israel’s ruling party, completing the new United Nations ambassador’s term that will last another five years. Hagoel is a longtime political partner of Danon who ran with him on a joint ticket at the last Likud convention.
This is Danon’s third term as head of World Likud since beating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close ally Yuval Steinitz for the post in 2006.
A lawyer and veteran Likud and Betar activist from Netanya, Hagoel is the head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Activities in Israel and Countering Anti-Semitism Abroad. He headed World Betar, succeeding Danon.
“I wish Danny well in his new post,” Hagoel said. “He was a terrific head of the World Likud. He did so much for the Likud, for the Jewish people and for Israel, and I am sure he will continue to do same in his next role,” he said.
Hagoel said that after Danon officially leaves, he will present his agenda for the World Likud. He said it would be wrong to speak of the plan before he does so.
Likud ministers and MKs have not been hesitant in their efforts to obtain the other two posts that Danon will leave behind. At least six Likud MKs have expressed interest in running for the leadership of the party’s central committee.
Activists in the party expressed outrage at the way the MKs pounced on the post, stating their intention to run just minutes after Netanyahu’s appointment of Danon as UN ambassador was announced.
“The body had not even cooled off yet,” a top Likud activist said. “What they are doing is ugly and wrong.”
MKs Bennie Begin and Tzachi Hanegbi are candidates to replace Danon as minister of science and technology, a post Begin has held before.
Likud officials said it is possible that no one will be appointed to the post, because the High Court of Justice could decide that Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman must become a minister. A decision will be made soon by the court on whether it is legal to appoint a deputy minister to head a ministry.
An agreement between Likud and Litzman’s United Torah Judaism party gave the Likud the ministerial post that UTJ is entitled to. If Litzman becomes a minister, he would have to take the post back from Likud