Likud likely to vote for split with Yisrael Beytenu against Netanyahu's wishes

Central c'tee expected to pass proposals backing annexation of Judea and Samaria, endorsing Jewish prayer on Temple Mount.

Liberman and Netanyahu at Likud Beytenu faction meeting 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Liberman and Netanyahu at Likud Beytenu faction meeting 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Likud’s central committee will likely vote at next Wednesday’s party convention to split off from Yisrael Beytenu, the convention’s chairman, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, said on Wednesday.
Yisrael Beytenu decided last month to temporarily maintain its partnership with the Likud. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to keep the partnership, and his associates have hinted that he could ignore a decision by the central committee if it decides otherwise.
Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas, a strong Netanyahu supporter, is pushing a proposal to facilitate the merger of the two parties. But Danon said the opposite direction is more likely.
“If there’s a proposal to break up the partnership, it will pass,” Danon said.
Danon said there could end up being a secret-ballot vote of central committee members next Thursday. That could result in a proposal to separate from Yisrael Beytenu passing by an even wider margin, which Netanyahu could find more difficult to ignore.
The central committee, which is more hawkish than the general Likud membership, is expected to pass proposals backing annexing Judea and Samaria and endorsing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
But unlike what had been expected previously, the committee will not vote on a proposal that would make it harder for Netanyahu to get elected to a third consecutive term as Likud leader. There will also not be a vote yet on a controversial proposal to prevent Likud politicians from running for reelection if they vote against convention decisions in the cabinet or the Knesset.
There will be a vote on a proposal to extend by a year and a half the time the committee will be able to pass proposals by a simple majority among participants in a meeting.
Normally a two-thirds majority of the 3,500 committee members is required to change the Likud’s constitution.
Netanyahu is expected to attend the event, but he could change his mind at the last minute, as he did with the last Likud convention in July.