Netanyahu delays festive meeting with angry MKs

Court set to settle Dichter-Hotovely fight.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 22, 2015 20:10
1 minute read.
 Likud party primar

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a victory speech in Tel Aviv after winning the Likud party primary January 1, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a celebratory meeting with Likud MKs that had been set for Friday morning at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Hamaccabiah hotel. The meeting was intended for the prime minister to reach out to the MKs, who have complained about being ignored and excluded from the Likud’s campaign, which has so far focused entirely on Netanyahu himself.

“We delayed it to Sunday night, because we were not ready yet,” a source close to Netanyahu said.

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At the meeting, the MKs are expected to be briefed on the campaign by Likud strategists John McLaughlin and Aron Shaviv and asked to stay on message.

McLaughlin, who is a Republican pollster and consultant, is in Israel and has been spending time with the prime minister amid the reports about Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner inviting Netanyahu to Washington behind the back of US President Barack Obama.

Postponing the Likud event to Sunday will also allow the attendance of battling Likud candidates Tzipi Hotovely and Avi Dichter, who have been fighting over the last slot on the Likud list open to current and former MKs that is considered realistic by recent polls.

Hotovely and Dichter will be back at the Likud’s supreme court in Tel Aviv Friday morning.

The court is also still dealing with a fight over a realistic slot on the list reserved for a candidate from the Jerusalem region. Former Jerusalem city beautification department director David Amsalem won the slot, but his challenger, former Jerusalem city councilman Yair Gabbay, since found evidence of mass forgeries and a ballot box in Beit Shemesh that was not counted. Gabbay, who is an American citizen, said he will go to police and external courts until justice prevails.


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