Likud's top 10

Netanyahu diehards take top spots in Likud primaries, after all votes counted

Likud party members award candidates who express complete loyalty to the leader and slam Israel's legal establishment after Netanyahu's criminal indictment while long-serving senior members of the party were pushed down or out

Moran Azulay, Sivan Hilaie, Roee Rubinstein, i24NEWS |
Published: 08.11.22, 18:39
After all votes were counted in the Likud primary elections, the party's top tier was seen to have shifted.
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  • Long serving members of Knesset and former ministers, have been pushed from their previous positions by the most vocal and loyal supporters of party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.
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    Likud's top 10
    Likud's top 10
    Likud's top 10
    (Photo: Avi Moalem, Kobi Koankes, Hadar Yoavian, Shaul Golan, Dana Kopel)
    These Netanyahu advocates claim that the criminal indictment against him was trumped up and that the legal system, including the state prosecution and the police, were out to get him.
    Since his indictment, Netanyahu had changed his previously held positions to defend Israel's legal establishment from right-wing claims that it was too far to the left, and had unleashed accusations that his legal troubles were politically motivated.
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    בנימין נתניהו עם חברי הליכוד לפני הדיון הראשון במשפטו
    בנימין נתניהו עם חברי הליכוד לפני הדיון הראשון במשפטו
    Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by Likud members on the first day of his criminal trial, claiming a political witch hunt
    (Photo: Contact)
    That message was picked up and magnified by his supporters and had become the focus of the four election cycles in three years.
    Among those who were rewarded by Likud voters, was Yariv Levin. a long time loyalist and critic of the court, David Amsalem who had gone so far as to claim from the Knesset podium that Chief Justice Esther Hayut was racist.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: AFP)
    Yariv Levin expressed his gratitude to primary voters. "I feel that I have a great responsibility to continue to act resolutely in our common path, and do everything in my power to ensure the victory of the Likud in the elections," he said. "I love you all, my dear Likud members, and I am grateful for the great honor that you have bestowed on me to continue to represent the Likud movement," he said.
    The rest of the top ten positions also went to candidates who had exhibited their support of Netanyahu's claim and their total loyalty to him.
    Long-serving senior party members who were regarded as possible contenders to head Likud after Netanyahu's departure, among them former minister Israel Katz and former speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, were pushed down the list.
    Although they had expressed their support for Netanyahu in the months leading up to the primary vote, they did not join in the choir and did not threaten to destroy the existing order, only to reform it.
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    סופרים קולות בפריימריז
    סופרים קולות בפריימריז
    Counting votes in the Likud primaries
    (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
    Edelstein, who had won first place in the last primary elections four years ago, was hit hardest blow, placing him in no. 18.
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    Yuli Edelstein
    Yuli Edelstein
    Yuli Edelstein
    (Photo: Aleksandr BiBik)
    Political analysts say the primary results may be of some concern to Netanyahu who had indicated that he would like to attract the more liberal right-wing voters who had cast their ballots for other parties in the 2020 election. Those voters, polls showed, were deterred by the Likud position as it was expressed by the diehards.
    Still, some of those who appear now not to have been placed in realistic positions on the list of candidates for the next elections, may ultimately serve.
    Should Netanyahu succeed in forming a new government and if he deploys the so called Norwegian law - that allows cabinet ministers to resign their parliamentary position while they head their ministries, and others, to take their place - the ultimate list of legislators would change.
    6 View gallery
    סופרים קולות בפריימריז
    סופרים קולות בפריימריז
    Counting votes in the Likud primaries
    (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
    Some 58 percent of the 140,000 registered Likud party members submitted ballots on Wednesday, the same participation numbers seen in 2019. A total of 79,735 eligible members of Israel's right-wing party cast their votes.



    i24NEWS contributed to this story.
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