MK Danny Danon announced Monday that he would run against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for chairmanship of the Likud Electoral Committee. Danon said that he felt it was necessary for a member of the right wing of the party to stand against Netanyahu, whom he said was too easily swayed to the left.
“I will not allow the party to give Ehud Barak a guaranteed spot in the Likud Knesset list, and I will not let the Likud slip to the left,” Danon said. “As head of the Committee, which sets policy for the party, I will remain true to the Likud's true platform and values – not to the values of Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan,” two influential Likud members who do not represent the party's traditional values, he said.
Danon said he has been preparing his campaign for several months. His main purpose, Danon said, was to ensure that the Likud remains true to its right wing legacy and to prevent “slippage” towards left-wing positions, which Netanyahu has undertaken apparently as a means of attracting the left into his coalition. Such “slippage” is a guarantee that the Likud will lose votes in the general election, Damon said. “It is our nationalistic agenda that unifies us as a party, and this must be preserved, in order to succeed at the polls. This agenda must be preserved at all costs,” he added.
During a Likud faction meeting Monday, Netanyahu announced that he, too, would run for the spot. Netanyahu said that he was seeking to ensure that the new party structure remained, with decisions of the Committee remaining predominant in the structure of the party's decision making process.
Commenting on Netanyahu's decision to run, Danon said that “I am running to preserve the party's ideology and protect it from a leftist agenda. An ideological Likud is a strong Likud,” he added.