Yuli Edelstein's announcement of his confrontation with Netanyahu for the party leadership has become the talk of the day in the Likud.
The person who hurried to cool the spirits is MK Haim Katz, who serves as chairman of the Likud Center and has the authority to set primaries in the party, who said today (Tuesday) in an interview with Gali Tzahal: "I inform you now, there will be no primaries soon."
According to Katz, "there is no reason to hold primaries. We did primaries before the last election, and Likud members chose Netanyahu."
He said, "I was surprised by Edelstein's announcement. He knows that the only one who can decide on primaries is the chairman of the Likud Center, who is me, and I tell you that there will be no primaries.
According to the regulations, the by-elections will be held six months before the date of the Knesset elections.
Netanyahu also wanted to hold primaries and I told him not to.
We are a democratic, orderly movement, there are rules and there are rules.
That's why I do not understand Edelstein. "
Netanyahu and Edelstein, Photo: Yehoshua Yosef, Mark Israel Salem and Oren Ben Hakon
Like Katz, the rest of the party also wondered about the timing of Edelstein's announcement.
"The only logic behind the announcement is the thought that after the budget passes Netanyahu will retire - and that's why Edelstein may be 'preparing the ground'. But as far as we understand Netanyahu is not making any signs of retirement," a party source said.
Many Likud MKs have said that running in the primaries is democratic - but Edelstein has no chance against Netanyahu. "Everyone has the right to stand for election," said MK Miki Zohar.
"I support Netanyahu and I will do everything to get him elected and return to lead the country. Even if July runs, he will be part of the Likud leadership."
MK Shlomo Qara // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon,
"I have no doubt that Edelstein could be a deserter - I do not know if this will happen after the budget is approved or after he loses to Netanyahu," he claimed. "The coalition will give him everything he wants.
After Saar and Elkin I have no faith in anyone.
The act he did yesterday is even worse than what Saar did during the election period.
We are in a strong struggle of the opposition. "MK Miri Regev added that" the Likud is a democratic party, everyone has the right to run in the primaries. There is no doubt that in facing Netanyahu, everyone will lose. "
Deri: "Bennett is illegitimate"
Meanwhile, earlier today, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett angered the ultra-Orthodox when he said at a Jerusalem Post conference that "Israel actually has three political forces: a national force, which you would say is right-wing; the humanist global approach, which you would roughly call it. The left; and the religious - ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox. "
He said, "In reality we actually need the three vectors. I'm glad there are ultra-Orthodox, but we need to limit their political influence."
Aryeh Deri, Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
Shas chairman Aryeh Deri responded: "An illegitimate prime minister with six seats wants to limit the influence of the ultra-Orthodox representing one million people. Bennett, every fraud has an end. The day will come when a government will be established to represent the will of the people, including the ultra-Orthodox public."