Well well well…isn’t this just beautiful? Though a final decision has yet to be made by the Likud court, it looks like that Central Committee vote that Netanyahu “won” last week really was a loss.
Here’s the article from Haaretz.
First of all, last week a Mercaz meeting was called that took place in Ariel. I was not there, but a neighbor of mine who is a Mercaz member described what happened as completely insane. Danon, who headed the meeting as chairman, completely and totally ignored those present. Apparently, he even hired 15 bodyguards during the meeting to ensure he wouldn’t be physically mobbed. He was booed fiercely by the crowd because they had voted down Netanyahu’s proposals, which where three:
- To push up the primaries to December 31 from January 6.
- To unite the Chairman and Knesset List elections and hold them on the same day.
- To allow Netanyahu to personally name 2 of his lackeys to the list.
The crowd was clearly against it, but Danon called for a secret ballot on the matter, which requires a certain amount of signatures which were not collected. The vote was appealed by Feiglin since there were no signatures for it, but that appeal was overruled.
Then Netanyahu “won” the vote 1567 to 835, because the ones that don’t show up to Mercaz meetings are the ones that support him, because they’re lazy, whereas we Feiglinites are motivated up the wazoo and would show up to a Mercaz meeting in Ramallah if we had to.
So, Feiglin and his sidekick Michael Fuah, a Manhigut Yehudit cofounder and the political brains behind the whole operation starting from the late 90’s, appealed to the Likud court again, but this time the appeal was a bit different.
The Likud Constitution states that the Knesset list election and the Chairmanship elections must take place on different dates. It also says that Knesset list elections must be “fair and equal”, which precludes Netanyahu from naming them personally. So, in order to change the Likud Constitution, you need a two-thirds majority. Count 1567 to 835 and it’s 41 votes shy of that majority.
The appeal is basically saying that since Netanyahu did not get his two-thirds majority, he in effect lost and cannot name candidates to the list, nor hold chairmanship and list primaries on the same day.
Now, even though a final decision from the court has not come in yet, it seems that Netanyahu is really nervous about this, because his men are talking personally with Fuah to find a compromise before the court rules.
This comes as an especially sweet victory for me because I remember four and a half years ago the Mercaz vote to postpone Mercaz elections. Netanyahu wanted to postpone the Mercaz elections precisely because he knew he’d lose control of it, and Netanyahu won that vote by getting over two-thirds to then change the constitution.
I remember going home that day after hanging out at the Herzliya Likud branch with Shmuel Sackett all day and feeling, for the first and thankfully only time, dejected and out of hope. For a few minutes I really thought that we could never win and Moshe had no chance of ever becoming prime minister.
I soon recovered, and now we really have stopped the Netanyahu steamroller. By 41 votes.
If the decision comes in to reverse the vote, it will be a real momentum changer in the party.