Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Thousands of Likud activists and half the Likud faction are expected to attend what has become one of the biggest annual political events: Transportation Minister Israel Katz’s succa party.
The event will be more significant this year, because Katz will hold the formal title of interim prime minister Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for the UN General Assembly in New York.
Katz has been hosting the event at his succa in Moshav Kfar Ahim for more than 20 years. The event outgrew the succa years ago, and each year, attendance has gotten bigger.
The minister made news weeks ago by having surgery and adopting a diet that made him lose a huge amount of weight. He did not even touch a birthday cake served to him that bore his likeness.
But the menu for the succa party will remain unchanged from past years: Hamburgers, hot dogs and beer.
Katz has used his speeches at his annual succa parties to call for death sentences for the terrorists who murdered the Fogel family in 2012, and to insult US President Barack Obama for pushing for a settlement freeze in 2010.
The chairman of the Likud’s governing secretariat, Katz used his speech last year to initiate a primary race for the Likud chairmanship, which led to the March 17 general election.
He said in the address that the Likud must ensure that it will have 30 MKs in the next Knesset, which turned out to be a correct prediction.
Regarding his ministry, he promised future free train rides to Jerusalem on Succot, Shavuot and Passover.
In past years, other politicians hosted their own Succot events. But former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, who hosted an annual event, is no longer in the Knesset.
Bayit Yehudi officials said they were not aware of any events in their party.
Yesh Atid will not host a Succot event because party leader Yair Lapid will be in the US presenting his diplomatic plan to the Israel Policy Forum in New York.
But Lapid hosted 300 party activists at a pre-Yom Kippur event in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood last week that featured Torah classes, slihot services and communal singing of Jewish songs.