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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Meridor’

Can the Likud Survive without the ‘Feinschmeckers’?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

This is the second entry in an in depth series about the composition of the Likud’s list of candidates for the Knesset. Yesterday’s entry discussed the fact that the Israeli media were quick to condemn the Likud’s rightward shift, but in fact of the first 25 of the Likud’s list (the candidates who are likely to be in the Knesset), 20 are members of the current Likud Knesset faction, three were required to be new faces,and the two other new candidates, Moshe Feiglin and Tzachi HaNegbi, who are both familiar faces to the Likud, balance each other out ideologically. So the Likud faction in the upcoming Knesset and the last are pretty much the same.

The big shock, to the media at least, was the fact that Benny Begin, Mickey Eitan and Dan Meridor – whom Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Liberman once labeled the Likud’s ‘Feinschmeckers’ – did not achieve realistic spots. But can it be claimed the Likud won’t be the Likud without them?

Well for one thing, the Likud was the Likud without Meridor and Begin for about a decade. Both of them left the party, each for different reasons (Meridor was finance minister and left over a disagreement about the Shekel exchange rate in 1997 while Begin left to found the Herut party in protest of Netanyahu’s executing the Hevron withdrawal and continuing with the Oslo process).

It should also be noted that Begin didn’t do that poorly in the primaries, he ranked 22nd on the national part of the list, but was bumped back to number 38 on the list because of all the spots reserved for geographic districts and certain demographics. What was surprising about Begin was that he had been number five in 2008 and now dropped so many spaces.

But this was a different election than in 2008, where every Knesset Member feared for his political future, new candidates from Kadima and Moshe Feiglin, who was expected to win a spot in the top 20, were introduced into the mix.

That Begin did as well as he did is surprising given that he has been completely inactive politically. He has no aides. He does not do political events. He does not register Likud members. Nor has he been very active or vocal publicly for the last few years (though in fairness to him, he had health problems). In any political system, even a ‘Likud prince’ like Benny Begin needs to campaign and he didn’t.

Begin also came out against “Hok Hasdarah” saying he was against “bypassing” the High Court of Justice, adopting the Leftist position about the supremacy of the Supreme Court, despite the lack of a constitution and the principle of “parliamentary supremacy” (according to which parliament is the supreme lawmaking body).

This earned him a bad reputation among the Likud’s ideological membership, but that didn’t seal his fate. He could have received sufficient support elsewhere, but he didn’t campaign. And again, despite that, he still managed to score 21, 600 votes – more than twice what was needed to win in 2008 – and rank 22nd among the national candidates. The difference between him and Carmel Shama HaCohen, the last ‘national’ candidate to get a secure spot, was a mere 230 votes.

Nevertheless, the loss of Begin would be a blow to the Likud. Begin is a powerful and respected voice against Palestinian statehood, so if he were again offered to be a minister-without-portfolio that would be good for the Likud and the country.

But remember, it was that opposition to Palestinian statehood that led people to say in 2008 that his rejoining of the Likud had made the Likud too extreme. For example, here is an Arutz Sheva interview with Dan Meridor, where Meridor is asked if he would be able to work with Begin despite their sharp disagreement regarding Palestinian statehood. Meridor tries to smooth over those disagreements, but acknowledges that they exist.

It is therefore quite disingenuous now for pundits to claim that Likud without Begin is an extremist Likud, when they claimed that the Likud with Begin was an extremist Likud.

Like Begin, Meridor was not politically active. I met his chief of staff once. The meeting did not go well. He made insulting comments, stating that only an “abel” (apparently Arabic pejorative for mentally disabled) “doesn’t believe we’re giving them [the Palestinians] something [a state],” that was not long after my associate and I had politely informed him that we represented a more nationalist group. Going into the meeting, we knew Meridor’s politics, but we thought we might find common ground on other issues. The way Meridor’s Chief of Staff handled it was just bad politics. If that was an example of Meridor’s political strategy, it’s no surprise that he lost.

Intelligence Minister Injured in Car Accident

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, his wife and their son were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on Saturday with injuries sustained during a traffic accident.

The accident occurred in the Beit HaKerem neighborhood in Jerusalem.  Preliminary reports suggest that Meridor’s vehicle, being driven by his son, crashed into the car in front of them.

Meridor sustained light injuries, as did his son.

3 Likud Ministers Oppose Likud Bill Authorizing Migron Outpost Community

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Likud ministers Benny Begin, Michael Eitan, and Dan Meridor staunchly opposed a bill presented at the Likud ministers’ meeting Sunday morning that would legalize outposts in Judea and Samaria.

The proposed bill states that if a land owner in Judea or Samaria fails to take legal action within four years of the moment a home is built on his land, the structure will not be torn down. In such cases, the landowner will receive other forms of compensation.

The three ministers implored Prime Minister Netanyahu to demolish Migron in accordance with the High Court’s ruling.

Netanyahu Looks To Assemble ‘All-Star’ Likud Election Lineup

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Rejuvenated Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to assemble an “all-star” lineup of perceptibly incorruptible politicians, media celebrities and former high-ranking military officials in order to crush Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni’s chances of being elected prime minister on February 10, when Israeli citizens return to the polling booths.

During the past few days, former Likud Knesset members Benny Begin, 65, and Dan Meridor, 61, have announced their intentions to rejoin the party ahead of the upcoming Likud primaries.

 

 

Dan Meridor

 

Both Begin and Meridor were considered the princes of Likud in the late 1980s. However, Begin clashed with both Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon over the Likud’s peace overtures to PLO chief Yasir Arafat – resigning in protest over the 1997 Hebron-Wye Agreement.

Meridor, who held key government posts as minister of finance and minister of justice, resigned from Likud in 1997 to form a centrist political faction. He then returned to Ariel Sharon’s government in 2001. When Sharon’s sons allegedly prevented him from joining the new Kadima party in 2006, Meridor maintained his Likud Party membership.

Begin and Meridor are considered “clean” politicians by their colleagues and the Israeli electorate, who still hold fond memories of Benny Begin’s father – fiery Likud prime minister Menachem Begin, of blessed memory.

Other “big” names who have announced their intention to seek a high-ranking position on the Likud list include former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev, government Press Office director Daniel Seaman, IDF brigadier general (res.)/MK Effi Eitam (who is looking to bolt from the new National Union-National Religious Party merger), and IDF brigadier general (res.)/MK Aryeh Eldad.

 

 

Moshe Ya’alon

 

However, Eitam and Eldad could face an uphill battle from a sizable number of center-right Likud members, who believe that their political philosophies skew too far to the right.Netanyahu has been meeting with key members of the Likud’s central committee in order to secure their commitment. This would allow him to place a handful of big names atop the party list without having them run for a position during the primaries. There have also been rumors that Netanyahu has asked Tal Brody, the American-born, ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star, to join the Likud list.

According to Israeli media reports, Begin, Meridor and Ya’alon would not only form the core of Netanyahu’s inner cabinet, they would also be prominently featured as an incorruptible triumvirate who would bring change to Israeli society in a Netanyahu government.

Netanyahu will also look to secure high-ranking positions for such stalwart Likud politicians as Ruby Rivlin (ex-speaker of the Knesset), Silvan Shalom (ex-finance and foreign minister), Limor Livnat (ex-education minister) and Gideon Sa’ar, current deputy speaker of the Knesset. 

The tidal wave of publicity surrounding the new recruits to Likud has forced Kadima’s Livni to seek out and secure big names ahead of her party’s primaries. She has reportedly asked noted media celebrity Yair Lapid, son of late Shinui party leader Tommy Lapid, and Jewish Agency Chairman Ze’ev Bielski to come aboard. And in order to balance out her perceived anti-religious agenda in the wake of her announcement that she is willing to support non-rabbinic civil marriages in Israel, Livni has allegedly asked Rabbi Michael Melchior and his Meimad party to integrate itself into Kadima.

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak and Rabbi Melchior parted ways last week after Melchior was purportedly told that his faction might not be given a prominent position ahead of Labor’s primaries. Recent polls have predicted that the Labor Party might lose at least 3-5 seats on February 10, which would doom Barak’s political aspiration to regain the premiership.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/politics/netanyahu-looks-to-assemble-all-star-likud-election-lineup/2008/11/05/

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