Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Opposition and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and wife sara cast their votes in the Likud primaries in Tel Aviv, August 10, 2022.

After counting more than 95% of the Likud primary votes, former Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin leads the party’s Knesset list, followed by former Ministers Eli Cohen and Yoav Galant, and former coalition chairman, Dudi Amsalem. In fifth place stands former minister Amir Ohana.

Nir Barkat, Israel Katz, and Yuli Edelstein, who were all considered at one time or another the candidates to fill Benjamin Netanyahu’s shoes, have all been punished by the party voters for their daring do, some more severely than others. Barkat didn’t make the top five and ended in 8th place. Katz was pushed back to 12th, and Edelstein to 18th.

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It should be noted that the party’s recently amended constitution empowers Likud Chairman Netanyahu to install four outsiders in realistic spots on the list – 14, 16, 28, and 37, although thinking the 37th spot is realistic is, well, adorable. It isn’t. But Netanyahu must reward the two Yamina MKs who made the collapse of the coalition possible, Amichai Chikli and Idit Silman. It means that whoever landed above those four reserved spots respectively should expect to be pushed anywhere from one to four spots down list.

The Anglo Oleh community is proud of Oleh Chadash Dan Illouz, who won the 33rd spot. Illouz is expected to focus a lot on free market economics.

Former Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who followed Ariel Sharon to Kadima, voted to evacuate the 8,000 Jews of Gush Katif from their homes and then returned to serve almost two decades as a Likudnik was finally punished by the voters this time and dropped to spot 46, which is really 50 considering Bibi’s spots.

Also rejected was Ariel Sharon’s son, Gilad, another Gush Katif annihilator, who took the 48th spot.

Ayub Kara, who once served as Netanyahu’s Communications Minister, ended up in the 44th spot.

Orly Levy-Abekasis, who has served for ten years as an MK and even a minister without actually being elected directly, has finally reached the end of the road. After partnering with Liberman, Likud, Meretz and Labor, and Likud again, she’s been shown the door in 50th place.

Moshe Feiglin, who raised hopes for a Libertarian party that would bring in eight Knesset mandates and ended up far under the threshold vote and with huge debts, also reached the end in the 54th spot, 58th if you consider Bibi’s specials.

On the serious side, former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, an honest and decisive man the Likud needs more than oxygen, grabbed 10th place. No one will make a better Internal Security Minister, not even Itamar Ben Gvir.

Danny Danon, who returned to active duty after a strong stint at the UN, landed in 15th place. He could have done better.

Boaz Bismuth, the former Israel Hayom managing editor who parted ways with the owner, Miriam Edelson, took the 27th spot. Not bad for a first-timer who argued this whole year that he wasn’t running.

And MK Gila Gamliel, who once served as Minister for Social Equality and as Minister of Environmental Protection, just made it to the 32nd spot, which may or may not means she’ll be in because, you know, Bibi.

That’s that, ladies and gentlemen. The election is Tuesday, November 1, Chol HaMoed Succot is Tuesday, October 11, and that’s when the true war will start. Up until then, it’s still the silly season. Happy eve of Tu B’Av, the Jewish Valentine’s Day, keep your air conditioning pumping and your wine flowing because 5783 is going to be soooo much better than 5782!

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.