In a conversation with Arutz Sheva, Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said that right-wing MKs like her were not happy with the fact that negotiations were starting up again with the Palestinian Authority, but that she and other MKs were prepared to hold their peace – for now. However, she declared that if push comes to shove, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tries to foist a major withdrawal from Judea and Samaria on his party, he is likely to find himself without a party or without a government – probably both.
Hotovely is not a minister, so she did not have the opportunity to vote in Sunday's cabinet meeting approving the release of terrorists. Had she been at the meeting, she said, her vote would have been against the release. She said that she worked hard before the meeting to convince ministers to reject the plan.
With that, Hotovely said, she realized that the major battle – against the establishment of a PA state – was still ahead of the Israeli right. What would take place during the talks was not clear – Hotovely is of the opinion that nothing will come of the talks – but she said that right-wing MKs could, and would, set a firm red line beyond which Netanyahu dare not cross.
And Netanyahu cannot afford to ignore the right, as some on the left (and the right) claim. Many of the Likud MKs are with her, and Netanyahu cannot afford to alienate his party to such an extent. “Netanyahu needs the Likud, it is where he grew into a political leader,” she said. In addition, she said, she believed that Netanyahu had enough integrity not to sacrifice Judea and Samaria, from what she knows of the Prime Minister.
But if he is tempted, she said, Netanyahu should start planning to look for a new job. Hotovely said that many MKs in the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, and other parties were with her, and would not hesitate to break up the government if they had to.
“We cannot influence the negotiations, but if the negotiations do result in an Israeli surrender of territory we can go into action and oppose the deal actively,” she added.