Anglo candidates expected to succeed in Likud primary

The American with the best chance of winning a realistic slot is New Jersey-born Tal Brody.

tal brody 88 (photo credit: )
tal brody 88
(photo credit: )
At least one US citizen, and perhaps more, will win a realistic slot on the Likud's Knesset candidates list in Monday's primary, senior party officials predicted on Sunday night. The American with the best chance of winning a realistic slot is Trenton, New Jersey-born, University of Illinois-educated former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star Tal Brody, who is running for the 23rd slot on the list, which is reserved for a candidate from the coastal areas between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Brody is running against World Likud chairman Danny Danon and Netanya Likud activist Dudu Maimon. He has the support of party chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, while the hawks in the party are expected to support Danon. Netanyahu even sent voice mail messages endorsing Brody to the members in the region. But Brody said he had no idea whether that would be enough to bring victory. "It's not like in a ball game where you know who you're playing against," he said. "Here you don't know who your friends and enemies are. There are no set rules. Whatever the outcome is, I will know I did my best in answering Bibi's call to try to get people with different skills and experiences into the Knesset." Netanyahu also supports Yechiel Leiter, who is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and is running for a national slot between 2 and 19. Leiter said he would visit 20 polling stations between Nahariya and Jerusalem to campaign on Monday. "The endorsement from Netanyahu is icing on the cake," he said. "It certainly doesn't hurt, but what really matters is a year of hard work campaigning and connecting with people." Brooklyn-born Yossi Fuchs, who lives in Neveh Daniel in Gush Etizon, is facing off against journalist Boaz Haetzni, from Kiryat Arba, for the 37th slot that is reserved for a candidate from Judea and Samaria. Fuchs said he expects to beat Ha'etzni, who is supported by right-wing activist Moshe Feiglin. Feiglin decided to run a candidate against Fuchs, because he was seen as the candidate of the establishment. If Fuchs won, he would still face an uphill battle, because most polls do not show Likud winning 37 seats. Shmuel Sackett, formerly of Queens, New York, is running for an immigrant slot on the list, which are positions 21 and 30. He has the backing of Feiglin, who founded the Jewish Leadership movement in the Likud together with him. Government Press Office director Danny Seaman, who was running for a spot reserved for a candidate from the South, quit the race last week after Netanyahu called on him to join his team of advisers if he became prime minister. "He said that I could serve the country best by helping him with the challenges of the international media," Seaman said. He had no legal problem returning to his job despite reports to the contrary. "People had a problem with me staying on the job before, but now they have a real reason to complain about me," he said.