Likud activists vow not to boo Netanyahu at party convention

Newly elected Likud central committee chairman Danny Danon persuades PM to attend the event.

July 11, 2013 01:16
2 minute read.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon voting at the Likud elections, June 30, 2013.

Danny Danon voting at Likud elections 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not be negatively received at Thursday’s Likud convention, the first since he was booed at a similar event last year, hawkish party activists said on Wednesday.

Newly elected Likud central committee chairman Danny Danon persuaded Netanyahu to attend the event, which will be held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.

He told the prime minister that the event would pass quietly, because there were no serious issues on the agenda, like merging with another party or whether land should be relinquished in diplomatic negotiations.

“I think the Right will respect the prime minister, but in a group of 3,600 people, you can never know 100 percent,” Danon said. “The Likud has colorful people, but Netanyahu wants to be connected to the party’s grassroots and he knows ignoring them would be wrong. Disputes must be settled inside the family.”

Danon said the main focus of the event would be on procedural matters, like preparing for the October municipal elections and giving the central committee the right to pass changes in the party constitution without requiring a special majority. But the main focus of the event is expected to be on how Netanyahu is received by the central committee.

Shevach Stern, who heads the party’s Binyamin branch and registered thousands of Likudniks from Judea and Samaria, said he believes the prime minister will be received respectfully.

“We certainly are not planning anything against him,” Stern said. “We are part of the party and will act democratically.”

Michael Fuah, the director general of MK Moshe Feiglin’s Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) ideological forum, said he expected the event to be relaxed and boring, especially for the media.

“There won’t be anyone with knives in their mouth,” Fuah said. “This time I don’t think there will be any action, unless the prime minister surprises us by saying something provocative, which he would only do if he wants to split the party. I don’t know all the central committee members, but I know of no one who plans to boo.”

Eli Cornfeld, a central committee member from Ashkelon who is a Netanyahu critic, warned that even procedural issues that the general public does not care about could ignite tension inside the Likud.

“I am very worried that even yellow cheese could cause a riot,” Cornfeld said. “We are dealing with serious issues about the future of the party. I hope the meeting will pass calmly, but people are very angry. I have told people to behave in a statesmanlike manner, but anything can happen.”

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