Netanyahu with likud background 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threatened to leave the Likud
Party if its central committee is given the right to select the party’s MKs, top
activists on the committee offered Netanyahu a compromise.
The Likud will
hold a convention for the first time in more than a decade on March 22, in which
Netanyahu is expected to clash with the activists over who should select the
party’s Knesset candidates and whether he should be permitted to reserve slots
for people he chooses.
Netanyahu is afraid of restoring the right to
select MKs to the committee, which was seen as performing the task in a corrupt
manner before he persuaded them to allow the entire Likud membership to vote for
the party’s Knesset slate in 2006.
He was quoted as telling Likud
ministers this week that if the central committee votes to take back the right
to select the MKs, he would quit the party along with the rest of its MKs and
form a “new Likud” with the same ideology.
Central committee members
responded Thursday that Netanyahu was “panicking” and that a majority of the
party’s activists realize that this right will not be returned to them.
group of central committee members led by attorney Yossi Fuchs proposed a
compromise: The membership would continue to select MKs on the Likud’s national
list, but 10 slots reserved for new MKs representing different regions and
sectors would be chosen by the central committee.
“The central committee
members are elected officials and it is important that they are given some
influence on the party’s future,” Fuchs said.
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Fuchs also proposed that
the prime minister be required to bring the Likud’s ministers to the committee
for approval. He said that would enable the committee to veto ministers who do
not fit the party’s ideology, singling out dovish Minister- without-Portfolio
“The Likud is not Israel Beiteinu and it is important that
there be democracy and oversight,” Fuchs said.
Fuchs called Netanyahu’s
threat “unnecessary.” He said many Likud MKs backed his compromise but were
afraid to say so publicly, so as to not incur Netanyahu’s
Netanyahu’s Likud rival Moshe Feiglin agrees with the prime
minister that the entire Likud list should be decided by the party’s 130,000
“But if Netanyahu wants to leave Likud, we won’t stand in the
way,” a source close to Feiglin said.
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