Likud Prepares for Elections

Arutz Sheva spoke with several Likud politicians at a meeting of the ruling party's Central Committee as it gears up for elections

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Gabe Kahn,

MK Danny Danon
MK Danny Danon
Yoni Kempinski

Arutz Sheva spoke with several Likud politicians on Sunday as its Central Committee geared up for elections on Sunday.

"We support the Prime Minister," MK Danny Danon said. "We want him to be strong. But we don't want to see Minister [Ehud] Barak within the Likud."

"That is why, today, we are fighting to make sure Barak and his friends will not be a part of the Likud list," Danon said. "We do not want to see the Likud become a variety of opinions. We have an ideology and we have to stand behind that ideology."

Barak said last week that he is committed to campaigning at the head of his his own Independence party list, rather than with the Likud.

Danon cautioned against assuming the Likud's strong lead in the polls meant Israel's upcoming elections on September 4 would be a cake-walk for the ruling party.

"It’s too early to tell," Danon said. "We need to show in the elections that the national camp is strong. We need to keep our promises to our voters. To build in Judea and Samaria, to build in Jerusalem. This is the platform we are committed to, and that is what I am doing here today - making sure the Likud stays loyal to its platform."

Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelsteain told Arutz Sheva that Likud could not content itself with a commanding lead in the polls.

"The general atmosphere is very positive," Edelstein said. "In all of the polls in Israel, Likud is by far the leading party."

"But at the same time, as we all know, the good news is also the bad news because the feeling sometimes is that we have already won the election campaign. This is a very dangerous feeling, a very dangerous attitude," Edelstein warned.

"We all have to work very hard to bring more seats to the Likud in order to have an effective and stable government," he explained.

Moshe Feiglin, who heads the Likud's internal Manhigut Yehudit [Jewish Leadership] faction, said his main objective is to ensure the Likud continues to have a strong nationalist list.

"No one really understands why this country is going to elections a year before..." Feiglin said. "But we are, and we need to get the best [possible outcome] out of it."

"We need to make sure we have as many good people in the Likud list as can be," he went on. "I think the existing list was also quite a nice list, and we [Manhigut Yehudit] had a lot to do with it. Hopefully, we'll get the best out of it."

Yehuhah Glick – who is running for the Yesha slot in the Likud primaries – told Arutz Sheva that the Likud primaries were more important than the national elections.

"I feel the [internal] elections in the Likud party this year are even more significant... more important that the national elections... because, according to all the surveys we see so far, Bibi Netanyahu will be the next Prime Minister,"

"The question is which parties he will take [as coalition partners], and he will have many alternatives. What is for sure is that the Likud will be with him.

"And we're here to be sure that the Likud that is with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is filled with people who have stable ideology, and people with Jewish values... in the land of Israel, in HaKadosh Baruch Hu [The Holy One Blessed Be He], and in the State of Israel, and the People of Israel," Glick said.

Yossi Fouks – who is running for the Dan Region Slot in the Likud primaries – said he is concerned that while the Likud enjoys a commanding lead, the nationalist camp does not.

"My concern is the blocks, the left block and the right block, are not so far, one from the other in terms of potential mandates," Fouks said.

"I think the Likud will remain the biggest party and Binyamin Netanyahu will be Prime Minister," Fouks said confidently. "But the more right wing Knesset members that we have in the Likud, the more we know Prime Minister Netanyahu will go in the path of the Likud, rather than to the left of that path."