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Daily Israel Report

MKs: Unity Brings Us Closer to U.S. 2-Party System

MKs from the Likud party welcome the approval of the party's joint election list with Yisrael Beytenu.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 10/30/2012, 6:15 AM

Likud Approves Unified Knesset List With Yisrael Beytenu
Likud Approves Unified Knesset List With Yisrael Beytenu
Flash 90

MKs from the Likud party welcomed Monday evening’s approval by the Likud Central Committee of the party's joint election list with Yisrael Beytenu.

The move was approved by an overwhelming majority. 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.

MKs who spoke to Arutz Sheva noted that the approval of the joint list brings Israel one step closer to having a two party system, similar to that of the United States.

“The American system has 300 million people choosing between two parties,” noted MK Tzipi Hotovely. “There’s no reason that a country with only six million people will have ten to 20 parties that do not serve any ideological background.”

“I think this is the time to call for a union of all the right-wing parties,” she continued, rejecting the notion that some have suggested, according to which the joint list means Lieberman is taking over the Likud.

“I think we need to remember who are the people that voted for Yisrael Beytenu,” said Hotovely. “Yisrael Beytenu was born as part of the Likud party. Lieberman was Netanyahu’s chief of staff during his first term as Prime Minister. This is why it’s the same people, so we need to bring the same people to the same party. This is why I’m not afraid of this combination.”

Minister Yuli Edelstein characterized the joint list with Yisrael Beytenu as “an anchor of the future nationalist coalition that will take care not only of the government affairs but of all the important and urgent affairs in this country.”

In order to complete the move, unity would also be required among Israel’s center-left parties, a notion which seems unlikely at the moment despite growing calls to do so.

Reports on Monday indicated that pressure was even placed on President Shimon Peres to step down as president and run for Prime Minister. Peres has rejected the idea.