Yatom plans to appeal against Likud list demotion

"Apparently, when the shadow of Feiglin is hanging over Netanyahu's advisers, their opinions are distorted," says former MK.

netanyahu hands up 224 8 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
netanyahu hands up 224 8
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former MK Ehud Yatom said Friday that he planned to appeal against the previous night's decision by the Likud Elections Committee to move him to the 38th spot on the party's Knesset list from 29th place. If Yatom wins his appeal, it will likely improve the position of Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu's ultra right-wing rival, Moshe Feiglin, who was demoted by the committee from the 20th slot on the Likud candidates list to the 36th. Yatom told Army Radio that Netanyahu still had not officially informed him of the committee's decision. "Apparently, when the shadow of Feiglin is hanging over Netanyahu's advisers, their opinions are distorted," he added. "I heard people saying that in order to harm Feiglin, it's no big deal to sacrifice Yatom." The reason the committee gave for the demotion was that female candidates Leah Nass, Limor Livnat, Tzipi Hotovely and Gila Gamliel, by doing well enough that they did not require slots reserved for them, had canceled the women's reserved slots. Therefore, those slots did not belong to the next top vote-getters on the national list - Feiglin, Yatom and former MKs Michael Ratzon. Instead, slots reserved for regions would begin earlier, thus bumping down Feiglin to 36, Ratzon to 37 and Yatom to 38. Ratzon said Thursday that he, too, would appeal against the decision. While the committee gave legal and technical reasons for the move, Feiglin said it was pure politics. However, although he had previously vowed to get such a decision overturned in internal Likud or external state courts, Feiglin announced late Thursday that he had decided not to appeal, because he did not trust the courts. Feiglin's demotion failed to curb Kadima's criticism of the party. "Their list for the next Knesset remains ultra right-wing," Vice Premier Haim Ramon told Army Radio on Friday. "It is Feiglinish even without Feiglin. His types are still there and even preceded him." "Likud should not be embarrassed about the fact that it is, at least in the main, a far Right party," he continued. In response, Likud said in a statement that "the movement's Knesset list is a Zionist and pragmatic one that believes in peace negotiations. Nevertheless, as apposed to [Kadima leader] Tzipi Livni, who is on the extreme Left like [former Meretz chairman] Yossi Beilin, Likud will not abandon security."