MICHAEL KLEINER 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu need not worry that the new head of the
Likud’s internal court is a fierce opponent of any territorial compromise and
the Palestinian state that Netanyahu wants to create, former MK Michael Kleiner
Kleiner won Sunday’s race for the influential post by a
wide margin with 1,015 votes, compared to 766 for his nearest competitor in the
10- candidate race. Kleiner’s success came despite joining the race just five
days before the election.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post
Kleiner said that just as he opposes the so-called judicial activism that former
chief justice Aharon Barak promoted in the Supreme Court, he would not let his
opinions prevent him from ruling fairly according to the Likud constitution in
“My job might require me to rule against my ideological
positions, but I am a man of the law,” Kleiner said.
“You have to go
according to the law or there will be chaos. I’m not Aharon Barak. I know my
When asked how he would rule if Netanyahu advanced the creation
of a Palestinian state against Likud bylaws, Kleiner said he did not believe the
prime minister would take such a step.
“The prime minister is a smart
man,” Kleiner said. “He is not [former prime minister] Ariel Sharon, whose
[Kadima] party now only has two seats. Unlike Arik [Sharon] who came from the
Left, Bibi [Netanyahu] has strong roots in Likud, like me. Bibi wouldn’t dream
of doing what Sharon did. He knows there is no partner on the Palestinian
When Kleiner was a National Union legislator, he left the faction
to protest its merger with MK Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party. But
Kleiner said he now saw no problem with Liberman taking Yisrael Beytenu into the
“Back then, I was in a small party that supported keeping all of
the Land of Israel, so I did not think it was right to join together with a
party that wants Umm el-Fahm to be part of a Palestinian state,” he said. “But
the Likud is a large pluralist party, and I have no problem with Liberman
personally. I think there should be a two-party system, so I would welcome Bayit
Yehudi and Shas into the Likud as well.”
Kleiner, who served in the
Knesset from 1982 to 2003, said he still had political aspirations. His ultimate
goal is to be justice minister.
“I would want to be justice minister to
ensure reforms would be made so the courts would not be able to try to control
the government or the Knesset,” he said. “The courts cannot serve just one
sector. They have to represent the entire public.”