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Will Likud candidates succeed in dethroning Benjamin Netanyahu?

CM 19/08/2021


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Parents across the country are looking ahead to the last day of August, which – unless the government changes it – will be the final hours of their homes being full of rambunctious children before they finally return to school.
But for former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his potential successors as Likud leader, the day has additional significance, because it is also the final day of the party’s membership drive.
Some more publicly and some more privately, the future Likud contenders have spent their summer signing up members by the thousands who could decide the successor of Netanyahu, whether it will be in a matter of months, years or decades.

There have been only four leaders of the Likud – Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu – and they all became prime minister, which makes the current drive especially important.
There is a 16-month minimum membership in the Likud to vote in internal primaries, but if a race happens sooner, chances are the minimum will be cut to enable those who joined in the current drive to vote.
It is in that context that more and more candidates are announcing that they will run. MK Yuli Edelstein is the only candidate with the courage to not rule out running against Netanyahu.
The rest are not willing to take such a risk and have carefully said that they would run in a future period of time that has become a cliché: “the post-Netanyahu era.”
A Likud leadership race during that era could potentially include as many as nine candidates: Edelstein; current and former ambassadors to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and Danny Danon; former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and MKs Nir Barkat, Israel Katz, Miri Regev, Tzachi Hanegbi and Avi Dichter.
Three more potential candidates would be angry if put on such a list, because they believe talk of what happens after Netanyahu harms the Likud, but that doesn’t mean they won’t run: MKs Yoav Galant and Amir Ohana and former MK Moshe Feiglin.
THOSE DOZEN potential candidates may have to wait a while. Netanyahu is only 71, and his father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, died at the age of 102.
The opposition leader has given no indication that he is going anywhere anytime soon. He has made a point of tweeting from his family vacation that has taken him to San Francisco and Hawaii. While visiting Hawaii has made plenty of people quit their jobs before, Netanyahu has not told anyone he is mulling retiring from politics.
“He feels he has Israel on his shoulders and he still has to save the country,” a source close to Netanyahu said. “He genuinely believes he will be back in power soon.”
But the same source confirmed what one candidate said this week: Netanyahu has received countless job offers since leaving the Prime Minister’s Office that would make him a very rich man and allow his children to never have to work a day in their lives.
Some of the candidates would actively persuade those making the offers to Netanyahu to sweeten the deal even further in order to finally get him out of their way.
More than one candidate noticed that Netanyahu took an office in the Herzliya tower of AMPA, a massive company that works in real estate, finance, industry and energy. Its CEO, Shlomi Fogel, is a close friend of Netanyahu. Advancing the company’s interests in Gulf states, for instance, would bring a windfall to Netanyahu, AMPA and the state.
One candidate said this week that he believes that one day soon, without warning, Netanyahu will surprise the world by announcing his retirement. The candidate said he does not believe Netanyahu will give anyone any advance indication, because he would not want to be a lame duck, but it could happen soon after the two-year state budget passes by the November 4 deadline.
A different candidate said he does not believe Netanyahu will quit until after reaching a plea agreement with Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in his criminal cases. Mandelblit’s term ends in February, and his successor, who will be appointed by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, would not negotiate a deal with Netanyahu.
Another date to keep in mind is the summer of 2023, just ahead of the end of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s term. That is when there could be insurmountable pressure in the Likud and its satellite parties on Netanyahu to step aside in order to prevent Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid from coming to power.
If he intends to stay, Netanyahu could announce a quickie Likud leadership primary as early as September 1, the day after the membership drive ends, to take advantage of all his potential opponents besides Edelstein saying they would sit the race out.
Miri Regev, 2019. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Miri Regev, 2019. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
REGEV OFFICIALLY revealed last Friday that she will run after Netanyahu leaves his post. Speaking to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper, Regev said Likud members should vote for her due to her Sephardi background in the periphery. She 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 do some soul-searching.”
Sources in the Likud said her interview did her massive damage inside her political base in the periphery. They were outraged not only about her advice to not vote for “white people” but also because she made her announcement in Yediot, a newspaper seen as antagonistic to the Likud.
Regev was also condemned for being disrespectful to Netanyahu, even though she praised him throughout the interview.
“Those who say they’ll be Likud leader ‘the day after Netanyahu’ apparently hope secretly in their hearts – and you have to be naive not to understand this – that ‘the day after Netanyahu’ will come soon,” Ohana told the Knesset Channel. “Even worse, they will do things publicly or secretly to bring about that day. I myself am not among them.”
It is more kosher in the Likud for candidates to say they will not run against Netanyahu but will work constantly to get ready for “the day after Netanyahu.”
The best example of that approach is Barkat, who has made a massive investment in the Likud membership drive, social media and countless polls.
The polls indicate that he has by far the best chance of winning the race no matter when it will happen.
Barkat, unlike other candidates, can bring the Likud many mandates from other parties. He could form a stable government in the current Knesset without the need of yet another election.
In private conversations, Likud candidates are saying that more and more Likudniks are internalizing that Netanyahu has gone from being an asset to a burden, and that as soon as he leaves, the Likud could return to power very quickly. But they are not saying such things publicly yet.
It remains possible that Netanyahu will remain in politics for three more decades and keep his job as leader of the Likud. If that happens, the dozen current potential candidates will come and go, and the task of replacing him could end up being left for a kid going back to school on September 1.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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