Rivlin calls on Likud leaders to avoid primaries

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin sounded a conciliatory note on Friday evening as he suggested that Likud leaders reach a compromise among themselves rather than engage in campaigning for primaries that could increase fractiousness within the troubled party. "The Likud is facing very difficult days," Rivlin said. "When the ship is in danger of sinking, we must not look for prestige, we must save it." Rivlin said, during the Friday evening interview on Israel Radio, that since Sharon's departure from the party, he had approached the four of the six contenders for the Likud leadership, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Ministere Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and MK Uzi Landau, and asked them to negotiate among themselves who would lead the party in the upcoming elections.