Daily Israel Report

Number 32 on Likud-Beytenu Doubtful He'll Serve in Knesset

Although current surveys have Likud-Beytenu hovering around 35 seats, candidates fear they may win as little as 30 seats.
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 1/22/2013, 4:43 AM

MK Carmel Shama
MK Carmel Shama
Flash 90

Just one day before elections, sources in Likud-Beytenu say there is a real fear within the party concerning election day results and that the overwhelming sense of confidence, which existed in the party just over three months ago when PM Binyamin Netanyahu announced early elections, has all but dissipated. 

Although current surveys have Likud-Beytenu hovering around 32-35 seats, the current ruling party is afraid they may win as little as 30 seats, a reality that would undermine their ability to form the next government. 

"At this rate we will reach a maximum of 32 seats including Lieberman," senior party officials told Channel 2. "Excluding the union with Yisrael Beytenu, Likud would only get about 20 seats, and it's embarrassing."

MK Carmel Shama expressed doubt Monday that his party would pass the threshold of 30 seats. On his Facebook page, Likud-Beytenu's number 32 issued a sort of farewell address to supporters amid personal doubts that his party would garner enough votes to earn for him a seat in the next Knesset.

"On my way to the Knesset to oversee the last three meetings of the Economics Committee in the 18th Knesset. Who knows, maybe I will only see the next Knesset through the Knesset Channel," wrote Shama. 

When asked by Channel 2 if his chances of serving in the 19th Knesset would be higher had Likud not united with Yisrael Beytenu, Shama said, "It's possible," adding that the union seemed like the right thing to do a few months ago, amid fears that Ehud Olmert would return to the political arena.  

"We lost voters, there's no doubt about that, but what is most important is that there will be a right-wing government headed by Netanyahu," Shama told Channel 2

On his Facebook page, Shama also took jabs at Jewish Home, who many claim is the primary party taking votes away from Netanyahu's party.

"Maybe in my place someone who envisions the bombing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or excludes women from serving in Hevron, will serve. In every case they will be subject to the rabbi who ruled that the killer Baruch Goldstein is a holy martyr similar to those of the Holocaust. Any result I will receive with love," he wrote, referring to Rabbi Dov Lior who heads the "Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria," and who said that Baruch Goldstein, the right-wing extremist who opened fire on Arab worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs, was "holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust."

In response to the attack against Jewish Home, Shama told Channel 2, "Bennett is an excellent person who I admire, but he has some candidates on his list who speak in an extreme way and it's dangerous that they are hidden from the public."