Hotovely: PM risks turning Likud into dictatorship

In interview with 'Post,' MK Hotovely calls for PM to listen to Likud voters and let the party’s younger generation become ministers.

Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely_311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely_311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must take the results of the Likud’s democratic primary into consideration when forming a coalition, MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud Beytenu) said in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.
“The prime minister wants to respect veterans in the party and feels he can’t tell a minister that now he’ll be a regular MK. It’s a twisted method that could turn into a dictatorship,” Hotovely explained, following indications that Netanyahu will not appoint any new ministers.
Hotovely unseated outgoing Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat as the “first lady of the Likud” in the party’s November primary, reaching the 10th spot in the Likud and the 15th in the combined Likud Beytenu list.
“There was a primary, and part of the idea of a primary is to show who Likud voters want to see in the next government,” she said. “There was a clear choice to change generations and refresh our ranks.”
Though she called former Likud MKs like Bennie Begin and Dan Meridor “wonderful people,” Hotovely said it is a natural process for party veterans to be voted out over time.
“The prime minister has to allow for political renewal.
There is nothing more democratic than respecting the results of the primary,” she added. “At the moment, with the number of seats in the Knesset we have [31], there is not much room for maneuvering, but the choice to go to old politics hurts the Likud’s public image.”
Still, Hotovely denied that Netanyahu may feel threatened by younger, more rightwing MKs in the party, pointing out that he personally recruited her into the Likud in 2009.
Since at the time of the interview Hotovely still didn’t know what her position would be, she said she was not disappointed and expected to be a minister.
At the same time, the Likud MK admitted that senior party sources told her that she will most likely be made a deputy minister.
“I only want a meaningful job in a significant ministry,” Hotovely stated, adding that the two topics that most interest her are foreign policy, especially in public diplomacy and Diaspora affairs, and Jewish identity in education.
The full interview – in which she addresses settlers’ influence on the Likud, shares her thoughts on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and discusses preparations for her wedding and family life – will be published in The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister newspaper Sof Hashavua on Friday.