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      ‘We Won’t Let Netanyahu Steal the Likud’

      Members of the Likud’s nationalist camp say Netanyahu is trying to take their party. ‘We won’t let him.’
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 8/4/2013, 3:51 PM

      PM Binyamin Netanyahu
      PM Binyamin Netanyahu
      Flash 90

      Members of the Likud party’s National Forum met last week in Gush Dan to discuss their plans in light of the Likud-led government’s decision to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority.

      Activist Motti Barnea explained that he and the dozens of other activists and branch directors who met do not plan to let Netanyahu “steal” the party.

      “We feel that the Likud is moving left,” he explained. “This isn’t the Likud’s elections platform. We chose a nationalist party, not a leftist party.”

      “The leader we chose, Binyamin Netanyahu, said constantly that we must not free murderers, that it sends a message of fear and weakness – so how is he freeing them now?” Barnea said.

      Netanyahu is not the first Likud leader to change direction, he noted. “Sharon was also elected on a certain platform, and acted differently. We’ve decided that we have an ideology, and we won’t let the Prime Minister take the party in a different direction,” he said.

      “We oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, or the release of terrorists. If anyone has to be released, it’s Pollard,” he declared.

      Barnea explained that he and his fellow activists plan to make it clear to Netanyahu that he is losing party support.

      “We won’t be quiet. We will protest, we’ll convene the Central Committee, because he has no authority to act in violation of the party’s decisions and platform,” he argued.

      “Even if he’s legally allowed to do it, it’s immoral to come turn the Likud into Meretz 2,” he added. “Even [former Meretz leader] Yossi Sarid didn’t freeze construction in Jerusalem.”

      “If Bibi doesn’t change his views, we’ll exchange him,” he concluded.