Likud Insider Plays Down Tensions in Party

Shevah Stern says Netanyahu's absence from Central Committee meeting is a result of poor planning.

Gil Ronen ,

Likud members
Likud members
Flash 90

Shevah Stern, Chairman of the Likud's 'Mate Leumi' faction, said Tuesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's absence from Monday's Central Committee convention is a result of poor planning – and does not indicate major tension within the party. Netanyahu, he said, could have reached common ground with MK Danny Danon, the Convention Chairman, but both sides were too deeply entrenched in their positions to compromise.

Netanyahu and several other ministers held a New Year's toast with Likud activists in Petah Tikva at the time of the convention.

Stern said that he was not happy about the fact that Netanyahu and the ministers were absent from the convention. “It is obvious that if the prime minister holds a toast and the defense minister holds another toast at the same time that the convention is held, and I imagine that MKs received phone calls or understood that they should not attend, then these are the results.”

He noted that close to 500 people took part in the convention.

"Following the unification with Israel Beytenu, many of the representatives from the districts have been pushed far back” in the Likud's Knesset list, he said. Now there is a demand among some of the members to cancel the primaries among Likud members and let the Party Convention determine the list once again.”