Likud fight on freeze set for March 18

Court rules central c'tee must set date for Likud convention to elect new c'tee by end of April.

netanyahu cabinet good 311 (photo credit: AP)
netanyahu cabinet good 311
(photo credit: AP)
The Likud central committee will convene on March 18 for what isexpected to be a highly charged debate on Prime Minister BinyaminNetanyahu’s decision to freeze West Bank settlement construction, thepremier announced Tuesday.
Netanyahu had been trying to delaysetting a date for the meeting since the 10-month moratorium wasannounced in November. But after a petition from MK Danny Danon(Likud), the Tel Aviv District Court decided last week that Netanyahuhad until Tuesday to announce a date for a meeting that would takeplace within a month.
In order to save the large amount of moneyit takes to rent a hall at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, the centralcommittee meeting could be combined with the Likud’s annualpre-Passover toast.
The central committee will also meet thisWednesday ahead of a vote the following day on delaying the election ofa new committee. That vote is so important to Netanyahu that hecanceled Tuesday’s Likud faction meeting and instead will convene theparty’s top activists who are loyal to him at the Knesset.
Danon will hold a rival event for central committee members who oppose delaying the election at the Knesset two hours later.
However, Netanyahu suffered a setback when the Tel Aviv District Courtdecided on Tuesday afternoon that the central committee would have toset a date for a Likud convention to elect a new committee by the endof April. The court ruled that the vote to change the Likudconstitution in order to delay the election for the central committee,which will take place on Thursday, might not be valid. The court willreconvene after Thursday’s vote.
Nevertheless, the court decidedagainst fining Netanyahu over his failure to implement its order thathe begin the procedures necessary to elect a new central committee.