'I will run for the leadership of the Likud - even against Netanyahu'

Former Minister Avi Dichter angry at Prime Minister Netanyahu who did not include him in the government.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avi Dichter
Avi Dichter
Adina Wallman, Knesset Spokesperson

For the first time since being left out of the government, MK Avi Dichter is blasting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and declaring he will run for the leadership of the Likud, even if it is against Netanyahu.

In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, Dichter spoke of the days before the establishment of the unity government, saying, "Ten days before the ministries were assigned, I told Netanyahu what I wanted and what I was interested in. He said he is still not dealing with that issue. In the ten days which followed, I couldn't get in touch with him. I wanted to make sure I was kept in the loop. They kept telling me, 'We will decide very soon' and that's how it went on every day."

"Three days before the date on which the inauguration was to take place, a messenger was sent to me with ridiculous offers, such as serving as JNF chairman. I rejected it outright and explained that I did not come looking for jobs, that I have come to influence the government from within the government."

Dichter continued, "You can say that this attitude showed contempt for 130,000 Likud members who showed up to realize their rights. Netanyahu was wrong here. I was severely hurt by him and made sure to convey that to him in a scathing conversation we had. It was a wrong, illogical decision which hurt me on a personal level."

Dichter recalled that, in the recent primaries for the leadership of the Likud, Netanyahu asked him to run against him and Gideon Sa'ar, in an apparent attempt to hurt Sa'ar's chances of being elected. "I guess he wanted it for his own reasons. Of course, I rejected it outright, ten days before the primaries - it's not serious. But I appreciated his proposal.”

“I never intended to be a straw candidate. I look at the positive side. The Likud leader came and said that it would be appropriate for me to run for leader of the Likud. Of course, on the practical side, I informed him that this would not happen. But you could say he definitely hit the target regarding what I was going to do."

"Everybody in the Likud knows that Netanyahu will not be the Likud leader forever. Even Netanyahu. A party with only one candidate looks very bad for the party. I am not scared of running against him," Dichter said.