Pro-settlers sweep Netanyahu party vote

2012-11-27 12:00

Jerusalem - Pro-settler hardliners swept a vote on Monday held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, effectively tossing four of his closest allies and backers of Middle East diplomacy off a list of candidates running with him in a 22 January election.

Party members ranked candidates on a list for the national poll to determine which of dozens already nominated could actually be elected to parliament.

The top 15 chosen, or those most likely to become or be re-elected as lawmakers, overwhelmingly included ultra-right champions of Jewish settlement on land Palestinians want for a state.

Netanyahu is predicted to win re-election in the national election in two months' time. But being surrounded by more hardline lawmakers than previously could toughen his policies on such issues as Iran's nuclear programme which Israel has vowed to stop, and diplomacy with the Palestinians, already frozen since 2010.

The main losers in Monday's vote or those who garnered too few votes from around 100 000 party faithful to guarantee re-election, were Dan Meridor, Benjamin Begin, son of late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Avraham Dichter, in addition to Michael Eitan, a rare civil libertarian in Likud.


Among the winners were ex-general Moshe Yaalon, currently a minister for strategic affairs, seen as a possible successor to the more moderate Ehud Barak as defence minister.

"With such extremists Netanyahu could have problems," Roni Milo, a former Likud cabinet minister, quipped in a video interview with Ynet's news Web site.

Netanyahu, though, had no immediate comment.

Likud's balloting had been fraught with tension, also for technical reasons when computer malfunctions forced the vote to stretch into a second day.

Left-wing and centrist parties in Israel assailed Likud's candidate rankings. The centrist Kadima party headed by former general Shaul Mofaz charged in a statement the right-wing party he also once belonged to "has now lost its way and been swayed to the extreme margins of the political map".

  • matusowsky - 2012-11-27 14:17

    Gosh darn it, fidel the attention seeking troll is back. I thought he died in one of the Israeli airstrikes.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-27 15:00

      Hello to you too Mike. How about you try and counter my arguments with facts. That would be admirable!

      matusowsky - 2012-11-27 16:43

      I will not humour a troll who hides behind a fake facebook account. Come out with your true colours and I'll consider it. Otherwise, get lost. Go trol the 4chan boards where you most likely came from.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-27 17:58

      I think you misunderstood the term troll. What's worse is that people like you lay the word troll out like they have just trumped in some kind of superiority game on commenting. Playing "spot the troll"?

      matusowsky - 2012-11-28 15:56

      I can't take someone who hides behind a fake alias seriously. Why do you hide "fidel"?

  • peanutcluster - 2012-11-27 14:53

    The Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe and Russia should accept their status in Palestine as Palestinians of Jewish origin. This birthright thing is nonsense - if we all started wanting to reclaim the land of our ancestors, we'd have a crisis in Sterkfontein!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-27 16:26

      srael was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-27 19:38

    Let's face it their are two camps that comment on this news forum...those in favor of Israel and those is the world split West supports Israel and East supports's all just a game and history will show how stupid and misdirected this time in humanity was..if only people could employ some lateral thinking but what the heck it will never happen we are well overdue for World War 3!

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