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Likud To Choose New Leader. Committee approves December primaries
Yediot Ahranot ^ | 24 November 2005 | Attila Somfalvi

Posted on 11/24/2005 9:27:13 AM PST by anotherview

Likud to Choose New Leader

Likud Committee approves December primaries

Amid growing tension among candidates for Likud leadership, ominous polls ahead of March general elections, Likud Central Committee convene in Tel Aviv Thursday to approve December 19 as date for leadership contest

Attila Somfalvi

Closing in. Mofaz
Photo: Gil Yohanan

A positive campaign.
Netanyahu Photo: AFP

Amid the growing tension among the candidates for Likud leadership and the ominous polls ahead of the March general elections, the Likud Central Committee is convening in Tel Aviv Thursday to approve the date for primary elections for party chairmanship and to determine the ordering of the party’s list of candidates for Knesset. Around 850 out of the 3,000 Likud Committee members have arrived at the meeting and approved a compromise agreement according to which the first round of primaries will be held on December 19.

If a second round will be necessary, it will take place on December 26, and on January 3 a vote will be held on the Likud’s list for Knesset.

During the meeting, temporary Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi addressed the members, saying: "We will be the largest movement and we will form the government." When he mentioned "Kadima," the prime minister's new movement, the crowed booed. "That list will go backwards and backwards," said minister Danny Naveh.

Despite polls showing Likud is losing ground to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s new Kadima party, Central Committee members have expressed hope that the party will eventually be able to overcome Sharon’s resignation.

“When Sharon left I made a toast; he wants to divide and give up all the territories, but he couldn’t do it here so he left for another party; he won’t succeed,” Likud Central Committee member Yitzhak Deutsche told Ynet.

Likud is gearing up for a short but emotional party leadership race. As of now, the contenders include MK Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz, and MKs Uzi Landau and Moshe Feiglin.

A poll conducted by Israel Radio showed Mofaz is closing in on MK Benjamin Netanyahu in terms of support among Likud’s 130, 000 members in the run up to the primaries.

The poll shows that in the first round of the primaries Netanyahu will win 29 percent of the votes, Mofaz is due to come in second with 22 percent, Landau third with 14 percent, Shalom fourth with 12 percent and Moshe Feiglin fifth with 8 percent.

Few have arrived (Photo: Yaron Brenner)

'Our line will be a positive one'

If Mofaz and Netanyahu make it to the second round, Netanyahu will earn 42 percent of votes with 33 percent for Mofaz.

Shalom held a supporters' convention in Tel Aviv Thursday. About 300 activists attended the meeting.

Shalom's campaign jingle, "only Silvan can keep the Likud strong," was played during the convention.

Netanyahu, for his part, held a meeting with senior advisors in Tel Aviv to plan his campaign for the Likud primaries. Bibi chose to refrain from responding to claims made by the Mofaz and Shalom campaign headquarters against the economic policy he led as finance minister. Netanyahu’s campaign will aim to remain positive and emphasize his economic achievements.

"We do not intend on referring to Silvan Shalom and Shaul Mofaz's verbal attacks. Our line will be a positive line about the candidate Netanyahu, saying that all other candidates are worthy," a Netanyahu aide said.

However, all six candidates are expected to sign a pact calling for a clean and fair elections campaign.

MK Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, blamed the prime minister for triggering the internal Likud strife.

“It is odd that he is complaining about the internal bickering; Sharon instigated the most severe arguments in Likud,” he said.

Earlier Thursday Sharon's new party was officially registered.

An attorney acting on behalf of the new party, Yoram Raved, said: "This is a historic day with great political significant for the State of Israel."

Meanwhile, Ben-Gurion University President Avishay Braverman announced Thursday he is joining the Labor party, saying new Labor leader Amir Peretz was no communist , but rather, looking to follow in the footsteps of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

The addition of Braverman, a highly regarded official who has turned the southern university into a success story, could further boost Labor's position, after the party showed strong gains in polls following the election of Amir Peretz as its chairman.

First Published: 11.24.05, 16:53
Latest Update: 11.24.05, 18:26

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bibi; binyaminnetanyahu; israel; israelielections; landau; likud; likudprimary; mofaz; netanyahu; ominouspolls; shalom; shaulmofaz; silvanshalom; uzilandau
IMNSHO Shaul Mofaz would fare better in the general election than Bibi.
1 posted on 11/24/2005 9:27:14 AM PST by anotherview
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To: SJackson; Alouette; Salem

Pinging the pingers

2 posted on 11/24/2005 9:27:44 AM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview

isn't having a 3000-strong Central Committee a bit megalomaniac for a [medium size] political party in a small country? Even multimillion strong Chinese and [in its day] Soviet communist parties have/had much smaller central committees, despite possessing complete power monopoly and thus having many more functions to perform.

3 posted on 11/24/2005 10:20:28 AM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

Actually, no, it's not. It insures greater democracy and participation. Also, please realize that Likud is not medium sized, or wasn't before the Prime Minister broke away and formed Kadima. Likud won seven of the last nine elections and with 40 seats in the last Knesset it was by far (as in by almost double the next party) the largest party in Israel.

Please don't compare us to China or the Soviets. We are a democratic state.

4 posted on 11/24/2005 10:24:58 AM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview

Israel is in desperate need of a new paradigm. It is as if the Israelis and Palestinians are on dual tracks of national suicide. The Israelis by surrendering the Arabs by Jihadism. Remember when we heard the Gaza pullout was actually toughness not surrender. What bs that turned out to be. They gave up the Philadelphia route, they gave up on monitoring the crossings from Gaza now they are going to allow the Arabs passage from Gaza to West Bank across what little is left of Israel. This is worse than pre 67 Israel. Then at least they had some sort of sovereignty over their nation. Worse there is nobody on the horizon to stem the tide. The Israelis will become increasingly dependent on the USA which is becoming increasingly resentful of the obligations they have. I see no good in the near future.

5 posted on 11/24/2005 10:45:12 AM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: anotherview
According to the article, Likud has 130000 members who will be voting in primaries. For a party of such a size the 3000-strong Central Committee sounds megalomaniac, to have 1 Central Committee member for every 43 party members. I picked communist parties as the reference point simply because these were/are the largest parties known, and not as a veiled accusation of Likud having communist leanings. When a party with some 20 million members had a 500-something strong CC [like CPSU did] it sounded more proportional. Even its general congresses were only about 6000-strong affairs.
More, even if one was to take "central committee" in the case of CPSU extremely broadly and add to it every member of every subordinate territorial committee from the district level and up [Likud in all probability would not have such an elaborate structure if only due to the country size], even then the ratio of these officials to the general party membership was much smaller than 1:40 - it was on the order of 1:400 at most. Hence the megalomania diagnosis.
6 posted on 11/24/2005 10:50:51 AM PST by GSlob
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To: Honestfreedom

I can't think of anything you've written here which I agree with. Not a thing.

As far as a new paradigm is concerned, at least in a political sense that is happening. There was genuine disgust with both Labour and Likud in Israel, both of which were viewed as corrupt and moribund. That is what lead to the rise of Shinui in the last election.

Now, suddenly we have a four way race with, one would hope, a very different cast of characters. Sure, the Prime Minister is still there, as we would expect, but he has made his political direction clear and will have a list behind him that agrees with him and is not tainted will all that has passed within Likud.

Likud may also have a new face if Shaul Mofaz can defeat Bibi in the primary. I happen to thing the Defense Minister would make an excellent Prime Minister.

Labour has moved towards the hard left with Amir Peretz. He never won more than two seats with Am Echad so I fail to see how his winning the leadership race energized Labour, but the polls seem to say Labour will make gains in the next election. (I hope the polls are wrong about this.) In any case, he represents a new generation of leadership and a return for Labour to it's socialist roots.

Shinui is Shinui and Tommy Lapid will always make things interesting with fiery rhetoric. If their campaign is half as clever as their last one I would not write Shinui off as some in Israel are.

As far as Gaza is concerned, it is all about defining our own borders and assuring that a Jewish state remains majority Jewish. I do not see this as worse than pre-1967. We had a well armed and thoroughly hostile enemy in Egypt under Nasser. The Palestinians are a disorganized rabble who fight among themselves. The Palestinians may be headed for national suicide but we are most definitely not.

7 posted on 11/24/2005 10:53:18 AM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: GSlob

As a Likud member with a pretty good idea of how the party functions I must say your post shows amazing ignorance and makes assumptions not in evidence. The purpose of the Central Committee is to make major decisions for the party rather than having the party leader (currently Tzaki Hanegbi) or a few close advisors make such decisions on their own. The purpose of the Central Committee is to limit the size of referendums to make them manageable rather than open every little vote to the entire party membership. Again, the presence of the Committee insures a greater voice for more disparate views and greater democracy within the party. American parties would benefit from such a structure.

8 posted on 11/24/2005 10:57:13 AM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview

So your CC official function is the same as the official function of the general congress of CPSU [making and approving major decisions, choosing the leadership, settling the major problems etc]. The ratios then still stand: 1to 40 vs 1: 3000, and so does the diagnosis.

9 posted on 11/24/2005 11:07:30 AM PST by GSlob
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To: anotherview

You were among the ones telling us that they would never abandon the Philadelphia route. You told us this was a move of toughness not weakness. None of this has come to pass. What has become ridiculously obvious is that Sharon views himself as a colonial Governor and Israel as a colony of the USA. The only difference with Labor is that they view Israel as a colony of Europe. Has Sharon ever said no to Bush or Rice? Do you honestly think he ever will when push comes to shove?

10 posted on 11/24/2005 11:59:48 AM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: Honestfreedom
Has Sharon ever said no to Bush or Rice?

Of course he has. You need a reminder:

"All of our efforts to attain a cease-fire have been been torpedoed by the Palestinians. The fire did not cease, even for one day. The Cabinet has therefore instructed our security forces to take all necessary measures to bring full security to the citizens of Israel. We can rely only on ourselves. And from this day forward, we will rely only on ourselves."

"We are currently in the midst of a complex and difficult diplomatic campaign. I turn to the western democracies, first and foremost the leader of the free world, the United States. Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when the enlightened democracies of Europe decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for the sake of a temporary, convenient solution. Don't try to appease the Arabs at our expense. We will not accept this. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia. Israel will fight terror. There's no difference between 'good terror' and 'bad terror' just as there is no difference between 'good murder' and 'bad murder.' Terrorism, as we witnessed this week in Alei Sinai, is worse than murder."

"We have been fighting terrorism for over 100 years. Unfortunately, there is no swift and immediate solution, but if we confront this terrorism united, we will be able to overcome it and bring peace. And we shall overcome."

--Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (in translation), October 4, 2001

Do you honestly think he ever will when push comes to shove?

I didn't notice any letup in settlement construction around Ma'ale Adumim. Did you? It seems like the Prime Minister is ignoring the Bush administration on this key issue right now.

Oh, and yes, Israel is stronger without Gaza than with it.

11 posted on 11/24/2005 12:05:50 PM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview

After the 2001 remark Bush made some unpleasant remarks about Sharon's comments and Sharon rolled over on his back. As far as the construction activity on Maale Adumim most of what I have read is that they are awaiting American approval before any real construction starts which means it might never. Remember the big concession Sharon supposedly got was that there would be no progress toward a Palestinian State until they started dismantling the terrorists. That got replaced by Hudna, which translated into "if you can't beat them join them". Yet the moves toward a Palestinian State are going forward at double speed. Now they are going to have a real airport, seaport, etc. yet have done nothing to reign in terrorists and Sharon has done nothing to stop it in fact has abetted it.

12 posted on 11/24/2005 12:19:27 PM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: Honestfreedom

Construction is moving forward in E1 and Ma'ale Adumim. There is no need for American approval.

You and I will never agree on anything.

13 posted on 11/24/2005 12:24:25 PM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview

VP Peres Assures VP Cheney Regarding Maale Adumim Construction
17:25 Apr 10, '05 / 1 Nisan 5765

( During their meeting in Washington last week, Vice Premier Shimon Peres told US Vice President Dick Cheney there are no immediate plans for the construction of thousands of new housing units in Maale Adumim. Mr. Peres added reports of planned construction are inaccurate, referring to an old plan that has existed through numerous administrations.

Peres explained to Cheney that the administration finds itself in a precarious situation due to the planned implementation of the Gaza Disengagement Plan, indicating the reported Maale Adumim construction appears to be a media hype to placate right-wing voters.

Peres attempted to draw attention to Israel’s desire for US financial assistance towards developing the Galilee and Negev areas, as well as seeking a White House appointed disengagement envoy to the region, seeking American assistance towards financing the implementation of the Gaza Disengagement Plan.

Cheney reiterated the White House’s objections to any Yesha (Judea, Samaria & Gaza) construction, including in the city of Maale Adumim <<

I am relying on articles like this for my opinion on that subject but will concede that you probably know that situation better than me. However, what is indisputable is that Israel is consistently giving up its rights in return for nothing in these supposed negotiations. Am I also wrong about the Philadelphia route? Am I also wrong they just got rolled on the border issue not even being allowed to use webcams to monitor the crossings? Am I wrong that everyone has overlooked the fact that the PA has done nothing to stop terrorism?

14 posted on 11/24/2005 12:50:49 PM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: anotherview
Oh, and yes, Israel is stronger without Gaza than with it.

Unpopular here, but true.

15 posted on 11/24/2005 12:56:41 PM PST by SJackson (People have learned from Gaza that resistance succeeds, not smart negotiators., Hassem Darwish)
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