Herschkowitz woos Likud settlers to Habayit Hayehudi

Habayit Hayehudi intends to run on a joint list with National Union in next election in attempt to unite all religious-Zionist parties to right of the Likud.

311_Herschkowitz (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The residents of Judea and Samaria whose power in the Likud central committee is expected to be diminished by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are welcome in Habayit Hayehudi, according to its party chairman, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz.
Habayit Hayehudi intends to run on a joint list with the National Union in the next election in an attempt to unite all the religious-Zionist parties to the right of the Likud. Officials in Habayit Hayehudi and the National Union see Netanyahu’s steps against the settlers in Likud as an opportunity to return Judea and Samaria residents who left their parties for the Likud ahead of the last election.
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“Habayit Hayehudi will give fair representation to people who live in Judea and Samaria,” Herschkowitz said. “They are the fruit of our loins, the flesh of our flesh. They should come back to where they are wanted and appreciated. We promise that in our party, they will have real possibilities to have influence.”
The Likud central committee is expected to meet on December 15 to approve Netanyahu’s proposal for a 30 percent increase in the number of central committee members from cities in order to dilute the power of the settlers, who Netanyahu believes are overrepresented on the influential committee.
The rule change passed a hurdle on Thursday when it was approved by the Likud’s constitution committee in a meeting at the party’s Tel Aviv headquarters, Metzudat Ze’ev. The proposal passed nearly unanimously with only veteran Tel Aviv Likud activist Aharon Meltzer voting against it.
“Residents of Judea and Samaria are the real Zionists today,” Meltzer said when asked about his vote. “They protect us with their mission and I don’t think the Likud should be harming them. The proposal may be technical but its implications are political.”
But other Likud activists said they were less troubled by the proposal. Michael Fuah, a close associate of hawkish activist Moshe Feiglin, said he did not attend the law committee meeting because he believes the activists entering the central committee from the cities will be no less right-wing.
“The central committee members from the cities are our brothers,” said Natan Engelsman, the secretary of the Likud’s Judea and Samaria branch. “Adding more of them will only strengthen the Likud.” Another Likud activist said he expected the proposal to pass, because defeating it would undermine Netanyahu.
“A party that wants to rule shouldn’t argue with its chairman,” the activist said. “We see what is going on in Kadima and Labor and we don’t want to look like them.”