Hotovely: Likud Still Needs Your Votes
MK Tzipi Hotovely urges voters not to assume a Likud victory, talks about Netanyahu's approach to settlement and to expulsion orders.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/28/2012, 1:17 PM
Right wing voters should not assume that Likud Beytenu's firm lead means the party does not need their support, MK Tzipi Hotovely told B'Sheva.
"For whatever reason there's this illusion that the elections have already been decided: Netanyahu will be the next Prime Minister, and apparently it doesn't matter by how many mandates," she said. Therefore, she said, voters who want to see the Likud in the lead believe they can use their vote elsewhere because the front-running party does not need them.
"But the public must pull itself together and understand that with that approach, the leading party will be a weak party, and many important things will not be able to be done in the best way," she warned. The smaller the leading party is, the more other parties it must convince to join it in order to form of coalition - usually by handing out ministerial posts and other roles in government.
Netanyahu's primary goal is to protect Israel from Iran, she said. "He sees that as his life's mission, and to deal with it he needs the broadest public support possible," she stated.
Hotovely reiterated earlier statements opposing focusing Likud criticism on the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party. "Our political campaign needs to focus on our real political rivals - the three equally dangerous left-wing parties: Yechimovich, who's dressing up as 'right wing' but whose positions are known, Livni who still supports a policy of retreat, and Lapid, whose stance is not far from that of Livni's," she said.
However, she defended Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent criticism of Jewish Home head Naftali Bennet over the latter's statement that he would try to get out of orders to expel Jewish families from their homes. "That's his stance on refusing orders, and it's reasonable for him to give interviews and talk about the issues that are important to him," she argued. The issue of refusing orders is relevant regarding left-wing parties, she noted.
In practice, she said, under a Netanyahu administration the matter will be irrelevant. "I've spoken to Netanyahu about this, including recently, and I can definitively say that Netanyahu is very against withdrawals," she declared. The Prime Minister believes that Israel's past withdrawal from Gaza is what brought Hamas to power and led to rocket fire on most of Israel's population, she added.
Regarding Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech, in which he agreed in principle to the creation of a new Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, she said, "The whole speech was a tactic to limit the Palestinian state that the Left wanted to lead us to," she said. "If the Likud is weak, it will need to include parties interested in [a Palestinian state] in the coalition."