Likud supporters celebrate at party headquarters on Election Day.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The heads of the New Likudniks underwent a hearing ahead of possible expulsion from the Likud – and then registered to run in its primary a few hours later on Monday.
Six members of the group, which seeks to be a moderating force in the Likud, are candidates for the Likud’s list in the upcoming election: Lior Meiri, Dan Klarman, Nir Hirshman, Yaniv Toyerman, Hadar Weisman Simhony and Asaf Rothem.
Earlier in the day, the Likud’s election committee held a hearing to consider removing three of them from the party
, which would mean they could not run in the primary.
A total of 15 New Likudniks activists were summoned to the hearing by Likud Director-General Zuri Siso, who argued that they are leftists.
Siso wrote that there is a “critical mass of significant evidence that the New Likudniks are running a mass membership drive to the Likud to recruit people who do not identify with our goals and do not plan to vote for the Likud in the election for the Knesset.”
“The New Likudniks, as a great amount of documentation shows, joined the Likud to get the right to vote and be elected to its institutions and... [to] the list of candidates for the Knesset in order to prevent the Likud from being able to reach its goals,” Siso said.
Meiri, the New Likudniks’ leader, called the hearing “a McCarthyite attempt to silence us.”
“I was asked in the hearing how I can write a post against Netanyahu and support the Likud,” he said. “I said that it is against the law to accept gifts, even if the head of the party says it’s fine…The Likud is not Netanyahu and Netanyahu is not the Likud.”
“We are faithful to principles – a cult of personality is not for us or for the Likud,” Meiri said.
The Likud’s Election Committee did not notify the group as to when they would make a decision. Meiri said that if some of them are removed from the party, they will petition the High Court of Justice to reverse the decision.
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