Then, in addition to HaNegbi and Feiglin, there were the Kadima candidates who received some type of public endorsement/encouragement from Netanyahu: Kadima Avi Dichter, Meir Shitreet, and Yulia Shamlov Berkovitz. Thus as the number of spots for sitting MKs were reduced, more sitting MKs were introduced into the competition. Those Kadima MKs should never have been competing in the Likud primaries in the first place as they do not agree with the Likud’s principles (and to become a member one sign a paper saying one “identifies” with those principles). They only sapped potential votes from others favored by Netanyahu.
So if there is any lesson for Netanyahu or the more “centrist” forces in the Likud, perhaps it is to not to back too many candidates, but instead to focus on the success of a few and do what is necessary for them. In this case, it probably would not have made a difference, but how not backing too many candidates can help other candidates will be the subject of tomorrow’s entry which will tackles the criticism that a “deal-system” exists within the party. This criticism was correct, but it is not limited to the Likud but to all parties that have primaries and it is a symptom of a wider problem, Israel’s terrible political system.
In sum, the failure of these candidates, like the failure of Begin, Meridor and Eitan, does not represent an ideological shift, but a failure to actively campaign, make the right alliances and poor political judgment – especially on the part of those ex-Kadima MKs.