Likud director-general unaware of alleged conspiracy against him

Gadi Arieli expresses surprise over report that PM, Minister Katz had joined forces in an effort to unseat him.

October 14, 2014 17:42
1 minute read.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) with Likud members at the party's primaries in 2012. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Likud director-general Gadi Arieli said Tuesday that he was surprised by a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the Likud secretariat, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, had joined forces in an effort to unseat him.

Netanyahu tried unsuccessfully to fire Arieli a year ago and replace him with an associate who would let him control the party with less oversight.

Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday that the prime minister and Katz had made a political deal that would help Netanyahu succeeded in removing Arieli.

According to the report, in return for Katz helping Netanyahu install his political adviser Kobi Tzoref as Likud director-general, Katz would appoint his chief of staff’s son, Moshe Sheetrit, as deputy director-general.

“I have been Likud director- general for eight years and I don’t see that changing,” Ariel told The Jerusalem Post. “No one has spoken to me. I expect to remain Likud director- general at least until the next Likud race.”

MK Danny Danon, who chairs the Likud central committee, said he would make sure that every step taken in the party will follow its bylaws.

“There will be no political thievery in Likud,” he said.

Sources in Likud confirmed the report but said it was not a political deal. They said Katz had made a strategic decision to assist Netanyahu politically.

Katz hosted more than 2,000 Likud activists at a party outside his succa at Moshav Kfar Ahim near Kiryat Malachi Sunday night. Many of the activists were loyalists of Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who intends to quit politics later this month.

When Sa’ar announced his intention to quit last month, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family and he did not want to miss the first steps of his infant son David. Sa’ar posted a picture of him and David walking together on his official Facebook page Tuesday.

Netanyahu intends to announce a series of political appointments after the Succot holiday ends Thursday. He also is expected to take steps to advance the next race for leader of Likud.

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