(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Likud’s central committee will convene at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds Thursday
night to approve Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to advance its
leadership primary from spring 2013 to January 31, 2012.
Netanyahu is not
expected to face significant opposition to the proposal at the meeting. His
rival, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, is not expected to speak, and is not expected
to run against Netanyahu, though he has made no official
Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, who is running, is expected
The central committee is also expected to approve Netanyahu’s
proposal for a 30 percent increase in the number of central committee members
from cities, in order to dilute the power of residents of Judea and Samaria, who
Netanyahu believes are over-represented on the committee.
other Likud hawks do not oppose Netanyahu’s proposal, because they believe the
members who have joined the party from cities inside pre-1967 Israel are no less
right-wing than members from Judea and Samaria.
The focus of speeches at
the event is expected to be on rumors that Netanyahu will try to bring Defense
Minister Ehud Barak into the party.
While Netanyahu has said no deal with
Barak has been made, Likud hawks have vowed to do everything possible to prevent
future attempts by Netanyahu to enable Barak and his party allies to run
together with Likud in the next general election.