Likud Approves Unified Knesset List With Yisrael Beytenu
The Likud's Central Committee voted to approve the party's joint election list with Yisrael Beytenu by an overwhelming majority at a meeting Monday night. According to the agreement, details of which were revealed at the meeting, the heads of the list – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, chairmen of the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu respectively – will work together to build a list which will include all current MKs in both parties. The order of the Likud members of the list will be based on the amount of votes they receive in the upcoming party primaries.
Despite a great deal of media hype, it turned out that the only minister to oppose the union was Michael Eitan. Although he claimed that he had enough signatures to require a secret ballot – and convinced a Likud judicial panel to order that a secret ballot be conducted – it turned out that he did not have the required signature, and the vote was conducted via voice vote.
Speaking at the meeting, Netanyahu said that the joint list “will ensure the security of the country against the many challenges that we face. Our enemies know that we have, and will continue, to catch up with them, wherever they are. We have strengthened the economy and ensured the safety of the Land of Israel. In most Western countries there is a danger of a crash and mass unemployment, but here we are experiencing growth, and we have hundreds of thousands of jobs available,” Netanyahu said.
Speaking after the meeting, Lieberman said that he was very happy that the union was approved. “This is a historic development, which will strengthen the state of Israel and enable it to be better defended. We will be able to form a strong, stable government that will be able to meet the challenges from outside and within Israel,” he said.