Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Elul 5765 - September 28, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Politica: The Likud at a Crossroads

By E. Rauchberger

The entire Likud Party is at a crossroads. If Sharon ever resigns from the party following a defeat in the primaries at some later date, one thing is certain: he won't go back to the ranch. He will start a new party, bringing over several Likud ministers and MKs as well as various figures from the outside.

One ranking minister who would invariably join Sharon is Ehud Olmert. He has already made clear that he would not remain in the Likud under former finance minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

How the other Likud figures would act remains unknown. On one hand they would be very loathe to see Netanyahu lead the party and would have grave concerns the party would lose many mandates. On the other hand the Likud is a longstanding party with much tradition; constituents would not be quick to leave for a new party whose future is wholly uncertain.

Fringe MKs and Sharon supporters such as Ruchama Avraham or Eli Aflalo could definitely resign along with Sharon to try their luck getting reelected on a new list. But ministers and ranking figures such as Tzippi Livni, Gidon Ezra, Silvan Shalom, Zeev Baum and Shaul Mofaz would have to think carefully before making such a move.

There are many Likud MKs, both Sharon supporters and non- supporters, who are concerned that under Netanyahu the Likud would lose numerous mandates and perhaps even control of the government. Nevertheless they would opt to remain in the Likud because they are young and have to look out for their long-term interests as well.

If Sharon starts a new party it would be a one-man party more or less. As long as Sharon is capable of pulling the wagon, both in a literal sense and in terms of public support, the wagon will keep rolling along. All those considering resigning from the Likud Party are aware of this and know as soon as Sharon ends his career the new party will burst as well.

Therefore only a handful of MKs would follow Sharon to a new party. If Netanyahu wins, great. And if not they will prepare for the war over the inheritance as if they had never abandoned the Likud during its big rift.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.