Likud and Nationalists Set for Divorce (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 06/06/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not leaving the Likud, but the
Likud may be leaving nationalists as he orders coalition ministers to
vote against a bill that would legalize five housing units in the
Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El and prevent their court-ordered
The Ulpana homes were built with government approval, but Peace Now
filed a petition with the High Court and convinced the justices that
the land for the homes had not been legally purchased by Jews from a
Palestinian Authority Arab.
With a national unity coalition that now includes Kadima’s 28 Knesset
Members, Prime Minister Netanyahu can easily dispense with
nationalists. At least three Likud ministers and deputies, Yuli
Edelstein, Druze MK Ayoub Kara and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin,
have said they will vote for the bill, an action that the Prime
Minister said will result in their being fired. Deputy Minister Gila
Gamliel also plans to vote for the proposed law.
The bill is sponsored by MK Zevulun Orlev, one of three members of
the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party that is part of the coalition.
It is not yet clear if he and chairman Daniel Hershkowitz will vote
for the bill and thereby leave the coalition and join the National
Union party in the Opposition.
One big question mark is Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of
the Yisrael Beytenu party. He is to announce later Wednesday how he
will vote. Netanyahu’s saving grace may be his promise to build 10
homes for every one that is dismantled.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ultimatum appears to be the final blow
to “Feiglinism,” the ideology of Moshe Feiglin to work for
nationalism from within the Likud. The party formally favors a Jewish
presence in Judea and Samaria but in practice has allowed hundreds of
middle-of-the-night police raids to expel residents from hilltop
communities, usually with violence and accompanied by Arab hired
hands to throw out belongings and often walk away with them.
The Jewish Home party so far has turned the other cheek, but the
issue of the Ulpana neighborhood may be the last straw. Nationalists
warn that failure to prevent the expulsion through legal means will
be the catalyst for turning other Jewish communities into falling
Prime Minister Netanyahu will have a comfortable coalition without
Jewish Home and can afford to lose a handful of ministers.
A “divorce” from nationalists might influence the next government
coalition after elections next year, when the current Knesset term
Likud is leading in current polls and will apparently lead the next
government. Prime Minister Netanyahu can always count on Shas, which
might abstain from the vote on the bill but for certain will not risk
being fired by voting to protect the 30 families living in the Ulpana
homes threatened with demolition.
If nationalists flock to a united party of National Union, Jewish
Home and disillusioned Likud MKs, they could become a bloc of 15 or
more MKs, strong enough to force Prime Minister Netanyahu to consider
tearing up the divorce.
His alternative would be an unlikely coalition of the hawkish Yisrael
Beytenu party and Shas along with Yisrael Beytenu´s arch-enemies
Kadima and Labor. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/06/12)
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