(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would not place any
restrictions on construction in Jerusalem, as the Likud focused on keeping
right-wing voters from choosing other parties.
Netanyahu dismissed the
EU’s condemnation of plans for construction in the Gilo
“This is our capital, and just as they build in every
capital – London, Paris, Washington or Moscow – Israel builds in Jerusalem,” he
said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We have no less a historic
and strong connection to our capital.”
Meanwhile, Likud sources said
that, in discussions on the central themes of the party’s campaign, Netanyahu
and his advisers expressed concerns that voters were so certain of the prime
minister’s victory that they would vote for other parties instead.
Likud is polling at eight to 10 seats more than Labor, which is expected to come
in second place if the current constellation of parties remains.
types of voters the Likud hopes to stop from drifting away are those who would
move to other right-wing parties such as Yisrael Beytenu or Habayit Hayehudi, and
those who are concerned with social issues and would consider Yair Lapid’s Yesh
Atid or Shas, following the return of former party leader Arye Deri.
Likud campaign will continue to emphasize what it called the Netanyahu
government’s achievements in social reform, such as free preschool education for
three- and four-year-olds, while pointing to Shas and its Construction and
Housing Minister Ariel Attias as the reason for high housing costs.
related development, Yoav Kish, an activist with “Camp Sucker,” the protest
group that fought for equality in the burden of national service, announced on
Sunday that he would run in the Likud primary.
Kish, a 43-year-old El Al
and IAF reserves pilot, was a member of the Plesner Committee, which was meant
to come up with a replacement for the “Tal Law,” which allows haredim to
indefinitely put off military service, but was dissolved within a month of its
formation in May.
At the time, other “Camp Sucker” demonstrators objected
to Kish’s appointment to the committee, saying he was representing Netanyahu’s
Also on Sunday, pro-settlement NGO Matot Arim ranked
pro-settlement MKs based on their activities in the 18th Knesset, putting
Likud’s Danny Danon at the top.
Danon received 36 points for activities
such as voicing opposition to a two-state solution and the 2009-2010 settlement
MK Yariv Levin (Likud) came in third place with 33
points, following National Union’s MK Michael Ben- Ari. MK Tzipi Hotovely
(Likud) was also in the top 10 with 24 points.
is the goal of every true Likudnik, and acting to promote and develop
settlements is part of the basic DNA of the Likud,” Danon said. “By
strengthening the nationalist camp within the Likud, the next government will be
a right-wing one that will make it clear that Judea and Samaria are equal to Tel
Aviv and Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu appointed Tzachi Braverman manager of the
party’s election committee on Sunday. Braverman, CEO of the Ness Ziona Cultural
Campus, is a Likud central committee member and has been close with Netanyahu
and his wife, Sara, since the 2006 election campaign.
The prime minister
has yet to announce who will be the election committee’s chairman, and several
party sources said Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon was asked to take the
job. Last week, Kahlon, who has consistently been ranked Likud’s most popular
minister, announced he would not run for the 19th Knesset.