Miri Regev at the Leumiada in Eilat, January 2019.
(photo credit: LEUMIADA)
Nearly 70% of attendees at the Leumiada, a retreat for Likud members held in Eilat this weekend, think that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should stay in office even if he is charged with corruption.
A poll at the event, which drew about 3,000 people, found that 69.4% thought Netanyahu should not resign; 11.2% supported a referendum; and 9.9% said he should resign.
Asked if the New Right Party, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, should merge with the Likud list, 44.2% said no, they don’t belong in the Likud. Nearly a fourth (23%) said yes, because votes should not be wasted; 17.3% said only Shaked should be allowed on the list; and 1.9% said only Bennett.
Unlike in the previous three years, the Leumiada, formerly known as the Likudiada, did not feature a mock primary. The actual Likud primary is scheduled for February 5, and it’s likely that the organizers of this weekend’s event – Likud activists and former staffers who are said to make a lot of money from it – did not want to diminish their influence by having their results contrasted with the real thing.
Instead, attendees were asked to choose their favorite MKs and ministers.
Most of the Likud’s current list ranked among the favorites, but MKs Yehudah Glick, Yaron Mazuz and Osnat Mark were left out, along with Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Welfare Minister Haim Katz and Communications Minister Ayoub Kara.
Two figures who were not in the Likud ranked among Leumiada favorites: MK Orly Levy-Abecassis, who recently founded the Gesher Party, and Economy Minister Eli Cohen of Kulanu.
The regional seats on the Likud list were also polled, and Gilad Sharon, son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, won the Negev spot – even though Netanyahu would not sign the waiver that would allow him to run despite not having been a Likud member long enough.
When news of Sharon’s likely disqualification came out, Netanyahu’s office said he had made an agreement with Transportation Minister Israel Katz, chairman of the Likud’s secretariat, not to waive anyone’s waiting period, other than that of Immigration Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant, who just moved from Kulanu to the Likud last week.