Likudniks call to oust PM over moratorium

“We don’t want to topple the prime minister and bring Tzipi Livni to power, but we refuse to be silent," MK Danon tells activists.

Danny Danon and Ayoub Kara 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Danny Danon and Ayoub Kara 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A Likud rally at the Knesset on Monday aimed at pressuring the party’s ministers to oppose another construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria turned into a protest against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when party activists called for his ouster.
MK Danny Danon initiated the event and spoke about how to thwart a further freeze, along with Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara and MK Tzipi Hotovely.
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Danon spoke about the need to strengthen Netanyahu but Likud activists who spoke after him said the prime minister had already crossed too many red lines in his concessions to US President Barack Obama.
Kiryat Arba Likud activist Boaz Haetzni, who was on the party’s list of Knesset candidates in the last election, condemned Netanyahu for breaking promises to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, allow life in Judea and Samaria to thrive, rule out a further freeze, and condition another moratorium on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
“After breaking his word so many times, why should we believe him anymore?” Haetzni asked. “He is leading us to the policies of Meretz.
“The conclusion should be if there is another freeze, we must vow to not let Netanyahu remain head of the Likud and prime minister. We must stop him before we end up in the sea.”
Haetzni’s call for overthrowing Netanyahu received applause from more than 50 Likud activists in the room.
Other activists spoke about finding alternative candidates for Likud leader and prime minister.
The event was attended by many activists who are working to promote Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon as a candidate.
Danon, who has run against Netanyahu for the Likud leadership and is leading the fight against his policies, found himself defending the prime minister.
“We don’t want to topple the prime minister and bring Tzipi Livni to power, but we refuse to be silent,” Danon said. “The nation is with us and 70 percent of the Likud opposes another moratorium in Judea and Samaria.”
Danon took credit for the current stalemate in negotiations with the US on a deal for a freeze. He said he had persuaded Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to demand to see America’s commitments in writing, and the Obama administration’s refusal to do that has prevented a deal from being reached.
“Our worry is that after the Americans recover from Thanksgiving and WikiLeaks, there will be a letter to Israel in writing, but it will be weaker than promised and that during the 90 days [of the freeze] the borders will be drawn and we will only be able to keep the 3 percent of Judea and Samaria that we are allowed to keep,” he said.
Hotovely warned that talks about a freeze were a smokescreen for negotiations with the Americans on a Palestinian state and meant to distract the public from the central question about the Likud’s red lines for the talks.
The activists decided to reiterate to Likud ministers that any vote for a further freeze is a vote against the party’s constitution and to warn them that they would not vote for them in the next Likud primary if they go against the views of the majority of the party.