Likud committee unlikely to meet re housing protest

MK Miri Regev attempts to force PM to convene central committee, says “If we don’t change our priorities, we’ll pay a price."

Miri Regev311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Miri Regev311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud MK Miri Regev began an effort on Sunday to force Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to convene the Likud central committee to discuss the housing protests, but party officials said they doubted the committee would meet any time soon.
Netanyahu has tried to avoid convening the committee since he returned to the party chairmanship in 2005. While the committee met regularly for many years, it now barely meets annually, and it last convened last August for a discussion on freezing West Bank construction that Netanyahu did not even attend.
Regev’s associates expressed confidence that they could draft the 500 signatures of central committee members needed to force Netanyahu to convene the committee. To that end, she will host a rally in Or Yehuda on Thursday.
“We need to understand that the central committee should not only convene on diplomatic and security issues,” Regev said. “If we don’t change our priorities, we’ll pay a price, which shouldn’t be necessary, because we are a socioeconomic party.”
Regev stressed that both her rally and the central committee meeting she hopes to force would not be anti-Netanyahu but merely in favor of him changing his priorities. She said she could decide to call off her effort to convene the committee if Netanyahu persuades her in Monday’s Likud faction meeting that he has a plan to fix things.
Welfare and Social Services and Communication Minister Moshe Kahlon, who chairs the central committee, is in favor of convening it. But his associates said he was very busy with both of his ministries and he did not have time to help Regev draft signatures from committee members from across the country.
A Likud MK expressed doubt that Regev could draft enough signatures for what would appear to party activists as an anti-Netanyahu event.
The MK said that even if she did obtain enough signatures, it takes months for the Likud administration to review signatures, convene an internal party court, and set a date for a meeting.
“By that time, everyone will be talking about what happened in the vote in the UN at the end of September, not the protests that were held in July, so it will no longer be relevant,” the MK said.