Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely gave an interview to this week’s edition of the Besheva Hebrew magazine, in which she discussed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s victory in the Likud leadership race this past week, as well as the struggle to legalize some of the young communities (known as “outposts”) in Judea and Samaria which are facing a demolition threat.
Your party, the Likud, gave Netanyahu a 75 percent approval rating this week. This apparently means the party backs the two-state solution he is promoting.
“There is one significance to the support for Netanyahu, in that there is no other leader in Israel today who presents the required set of skills to contend for the premiership but Netanyahu. Likud members do not choose someone who they think represents all the pure values of the land of Israel, but rather a Prime Minister. So it was not a vote of confidence on the two-state solution. The Prime Minister may be suitable for the job, but our role as MKs and ministers is to set and maintain his boundaries. It’s very clear in the Likud today, just because of the 25 percent Moshe Feiglin received, that there is a renewed confirmation of this idea. To me, Feiglin’s 25 percent are the interesting figure of this election, because they are indicative of the underground forces that operate and affect the Likud’s MKs and ministers.”
How do you see the fact that no Likud ministers saw fit to run against Netanyahu?
“I think there’s a nice side to it. The Likud to date has had four leaders, and most of the ministers are relatively young, in their second term as ministers, and they look around and see a person with experience in the international arena, with approval in the economic field, who learned from his previous mistakes as Prime Minister, and they say to themselves with a degree of modesty, if that is allowed in politics, that they cannot run against him. It can be said to the Likud’s credit that it is not dragged into ugly battles such as what is going on between Livni and Mofaz [at Kadima].”
The team being formed to find ways to legalize the outposts will probably not help Migron or Givat Assaf, because the Attorney General opposes the idea of giving the team the power to deal with places over which the Supreme Court has already ruled.
“You have to remember that the Supreme Court’s decision was based by the State’s problematic answers. There are now four points of conflict over which the threat of demolition hangs: Migron, Amona, Givat Assaf and Givat Ulpana in Beit El. Each one is a different legal story and people confuse between them. The Prime Minister has appointed the team and the next public campaign will be to give them extensive powers, and I can say that if necessary, I will lead that struggle against the Prime Minister. Even before the team starts working we need to take care of Migron, because the demolition date decided upon by the Supreme Court is quickly approaching.”
This means that the outpost bill proposed by MK Orlev must be approved. But the Prime Minister has threatened to fire any minister who will vote in favor of the bill.
“The only reason the legislation on Migron was not implemented is because intense negotiations are being held with the residents, which include legal regulation and construction of a new community. Orlev's law is a correct statement but not a practical one, because time which we don’t have must pass in order for a law to be written into the legal books. This law is right on a moral level, but it will not help Migron.”
Can you understand the Prime Minister’s opposition to let the ministers vote freely?
“From a value level I think it’s inappropriate not to allow members to vote freely. The ministers must fight for it and tell him that the story of Amona cannot be repeated under a Likud government, and they cannot be a rubber stamp. This is not what they were elected for. As for Netanyahu’s position I had a serious talk with him and he really sees legalizing of settlements in terms of finding ground that is not problematic in the eyes of the Supreme Court. That is his way to develop the settlement enterprise. After all, under this government there has been more construction in Judea and Samaria than under previous governments, even though it is not enough as far as I’m concerned and I think we should apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)