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Likud unrest grows: Politicians attack Regev over comments

CM 13/08/2021

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A number of leading Likud MKs attacked MK Miri Regev for her comments published on Friday where she compared Sephardim to African Americans and said that the time has come to stop voting for “white people.”
Former Health Minister and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, number two on the Likud list, said in an interview to Channel 20, “we don’t choose parties based on ethnicity, sector, religion, race or sex. I don’t think that the Likud will begin to check people’s identification cards. I don’t know why she said that.”
He added that based on based on the Likud’s most recent primary elections, the party’s DNA is built from all sectors and groups.
Nir Barkat, former mayor of Jerusalem and number seven on the Likud list, said in an interview to N12 on Friday afternoon, “[Regev’s comments] are divisive and have no place in the movement.”
“We are a movement of the people and, thank god, we have everyone – secular, religious and traditional, Jewish and non-Jewish. We have the entire variety and choose our leaders based on their vision and on the ideals they bring with them from home,” he said.
“If we want to return to retake control of the government, we need to band together,” he added. 

Galit Distal Atbaryan struck a softer tone, saying that while she respected Regev and might even support her bid for the premiership, she would not vote along ethnic lines.

“I recently spoke in the Knesset plenum about how not one or two but nearly 70 Israeli judges come from a European background,” she said in an interview to Ynet.
“That is an example of something that interests me, because it shows a broad trend and says something about the concentration of power, about academic abilities and about social mobility. But to say that I would choose a prime minister because she is a woman and from middle eastern origin?”

Speaking to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper on Friday, Regev said that Likud members should vote for her due to her Sephardic background in the periphery. Regev was born in the southern development town Kiryat Gat to immigrants from Morocco, Felix and Marcelle Siboni.
“The time has come to have a Sephardi prime minister,” Regev said. “I think the Likud rank and file must vote this time for someone who represents their class, their ethnicity and their agenda. Sephardi Likudniks voted over the years for white people to lead them. I think the day after Bibi Netanyahu, Likudniks will have to some soul searching.”

Regev joined other Likud MKs who have announced that they intend to seek the leadership of the party in the post Netanyahu era, including Barkat, Yuli Edelstein, Israel Katz, Avi Dichter and Tzachi Hanegbi.
She criticized the wealthy Barkat, saying “not everything can be purchased with money,” and warned that she could form a new party if she was not elected.


Source: Jerusalem Post

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