If Likud supporters take Likud for granted and cast their votes elsewhere, Israel’s communities in Judea and Samaria will be at risk, Likud MK Zev Elkin warned Tuesday.
“I fear that if the nationalist camp loses power we will have cause to cry for the next four years,” he said. “There are a lot of powerful people in the country who are willing to do anything to make sure the nationalist camp doesn’t stay in power,” he added.
There is a real chance Likud Beytenu will not be chosen to lead the next government, he warned. “If we don’t reach around 40 seats and there’s no big gap between us and the left, the President is likely to choose Yechimovich,” he said, echoing warnings from Likud activists that President Peres is likely to prefer the left.
“That’s exactly how Rabin came to power in 92,” he added.
While media reports generally include hareidi-religious parties Shas and Yahadut Hatorah (UTJ) as part of the right-wing bloc when reporting on surveys, Elkin said it was not clear if the parties prefer Likud Beytenu in power. “It’s no secret that what interests the hareidi parties in these elections is exemption from IDF service… Every time I hear Aryeh Deri declaring in the media that he supports Netanyahu, I’m afraid he’s negotiating with Shelly Yechimovich,” he said.
The question for religious-Zionist voters, he said, is “whether the revolution of a strong religious-Zionist camp in the Likud was a one-time event or whether it will continue.”
“If the community doesn’t stand behind us this time, we will be limited, we won’t be able to say anymore that we represent a large community,” he argued.
The support for Likud Beytenu among Israeli leaders in Judea and Samaria is proof of his arguments, Elkin said. “Gershon Mesika, Malachi Levinger, and Avi Roeh – these are not scared people, they know how to criticize when necessary. But they see the whole picture, they know the truth, they know how much this administration invested in Judea and Samaria,” he declared.
“Only a party that leads the government can do big things… The regional leaders are well aware of that,” he concluded.