Danon: PM should not worry about me

Danon has emerged as a leading candidate in next week's Likud elections for key posts including chairman of the Likud convention.

June 24, 2013 21:43
1 minute read.
Danon speaks at anti-infiltrator conference

Danon speaks at anti-infiltrator conference 370. (photo credit: Courtest Danny Danon)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not be concerned if hawkish Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon takes over the leadership of key institutions in the Likud Party, Danon said Monday.

Danon is considered the leading candidate in Tuesday’s race for the chairmanship of the Likud convention and next Sunday’s election for head of the Likud central committee.

Winning both posts would give Danon immense power in the party.

“Bibi [Netanyahu] does not have to be concerned about me as long as he does not follow in the path of [former prime minister Ariel] Sharon,” Danon said.

Netanyahu’s associates denied reports that he intends to boycott the elections due to his problems with the party’s activists. They declined to say whom he would support.

Danon’s challengers in Tuesday’s election, in which some 3,600 Likud activists are eligible to vote, are central committee members Ya’acov Goldreich and Gidon Ariel, who made aliya from Queens, New York. Sources close to Ariel said he could receive protest votes from activists who do not want Danon to win.

“I encourage and urge the delegates to the Likud Convention to vote for someone who has proven his loyalty for the Likud by defending and enforcing its democratic nature of checks and balances,” Ariel said. “They should vote for someone who has a heartfelt caring for the Likud and takes the responsibilities and authority of the institutions of the convention and its chairman seriously.”

Ariel was one of the Likud activists who appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court to force Netanyahu to hold the internal Likud elections, which he had been delaying for more than a year. Besides convention chairman, more than 100 candidates are running Tuesday for 11 slots on the convention council, including British-born Sonya Graham of Ra’anana.

Likud MKs downplayed the importance of the elections.

“It is not worth a mention in a news brief on page 14 in the least important newspaper,” a Likud MK said.

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