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Ariana Melamed  

 

Likud's silencers

Op-ed: Ruling party members approved Lieberman merger without studying deal - just like Bibi wanted

Published: 10.31.12, 17:41 / Israel Opinion

The Likud Central Committee members voted on an agreement they know nothing about. More than 1,000 people, all rational party activists, attended the Likud convention. While most of them would not be willing to purchase a used car under such conditions, they were more than willing to gamble on the future of the State of Israel.

 

What will they get? Lieberman as defense minister? A "union of couples" instead of marriage? And how can one even know without looking at the fine print like a wise consumer? The Central Committee members were denied the basic democratic right of voting secretly and according to their conscience. Activists said they were told what to do by "vote contractors," and Minister Michael Eitan's attempt to move the vote to a secret ballot was thwarted – and not in the most democratic way.

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The politicians on the stage did not voice any objection to the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu merger agreement, which they have not even seen. Israel has to deal with the Iranian threat; now is not the time for opposition, independent thinking or pluralism of opinions.

 

There was no discussion before the vote on the unity deal. And why would there be? Would anyone benefit from it? Netanyahu and Lieberman don't want transparency, which is kind of an obstacle as far as they are concerned. Otherwise, someone may yell out: "The emperor and his deputy aren't wearing anything at all, yet they continue to make new suits."

 

What they did hear from their leader was: Power, power, leadership, force and power. If I forgot one of the "powers," I apologize.

 

The Committee members voted in favor of the merger, just as their leader wanted. The problem is that for the past four years all of us, not only the members of the Likud Central Committee, have been paying the price for this power, governance, force and leadership. We have been paying for it with increased housing and cottage cheese prices, reserve duty, inequality and tons of money allocated to the settlements while there is no budget for the fortification of the Gaza-vicinity communities. We've also been paying for it with growing isolation from the rest of the world – and this is before the unity agreement has even been implemented.

 

Not one person among the 1,000 voters stopped to ask how much more this is going to cost us.

 

 

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