The Likud’s central committee will likely vote at next Wednesday’s party
convention to split off from Yisrael Beytenu, the convention’s chairman, Deputy
Defense Minister Danny Danon, said on Wednesday.
Yisrael Beytenu decided
last month to temporarily maintain its partnership with the Likud. Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to keep the partnership, and his associates
have hinted that he could ignore a decision by the central committee if it
Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas, a strong Netanyahu
supporter, is pushing a proposal to facilitate the merger of the two parties.
But Danon said the opposite direction is more likely.
“If there’s a
proposal to break up the partnership, it will pass,” Danon said.
said there could end up being a secret-ballot vote of central committee members
next Thursday. That could result in a proposal to separate from Yisrael Beytenu
passing by an even wider margin, which Netanyahu could find more difficult to
The central committee, which is more hawkish than the general
Likud membership, is expected to pass proposals backing annexing Judea and
Samaria and endorsing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
But unlike what
had been expected previously, the committee will not vote on a proposal that
would make it harder for Netanyahu to get elected to a third consecutive term as
Likud leader. There will also not be a vote yet on a controversial proposal to
prevent Likud politicians from running for reelection if they vote against
convention decisions in the cabinet or the Knesset.
There will be a vote
on a proposal to extend by a year and a half the time the committee will be able
to pass proposals by a simple majority among participants in a
Normally a two-thirds majority of the 3,500 committee members is
required to change the Likud’s constitution.
Netanyahu is expected to
attend the event, but he could change his mind at the last minute, as he did
with the last Likud convention in July.