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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Netanyahu and the Likud's young guard

In an interview with the JPost before the new cabinet ministers were announced, Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely tries hard to avoid giving the impression that Prime Minister Netanyahu is a control freak.
“The prime minister wants to respect veterans in the party and feels he can’t tell a minister that now he’ll be a regular MK. It’s a twisted method that could turn into a dictatorship,” Hotovely explained, following indications that Netanyahu will not appoint any new ministers.

Hotovely unseated outgoing Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat as the “first lady of the Likud” in the party’s November primary, reaching the 10th spot in the Likud and the 15th in the combined Likud Beytenu list.

“There was a primary, and part of the idea of a primary is to show who Likud voters want to see in the next government,” she said. “There was a clear choice to change generations and refresh our ranks.”

Though she called former Likud MKs like Bennie Begin and Dan Meridor “wonderful people,” Hotovely said it is a natural process for party veterans to be voted out over time.

“The prime minister has to allow for political renewal.

There is nothing more democratic than respecting the results of the primary,” she added. “At the moment, with the number of seats in the Knesset we have [31], there is not much room for maneuvering, but the choice to go to old politics hurts the Likud’s public image.”

Still, Hotovely denied that Netanyahu may feel threatened by younger, more rightwing MKs in the party, pointing out that he personally recruited her into the Likud in 2009.
I don't think he feels threatened by the MK's. I think he feels threatened by their ideology, which is far more consistent than his. 

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