Likud working to expel ‘New Likudniks’ seen as anti-Netanyahu before primary

The head of the Likud’s internal court, former MK Michael Kleiner, charges, as cited by The Jerusalem Post, that “this group has acted in an ugly way as a fifth column within the party.”

By World Israel News Staff 

Some 100 Likud members could be expelled from the party the day before the primary for the chairmanship takes place on December 26, reports The Jerusalem Post.

“There will be a hearing on Tuesday to hear their appeal as a bloc, which could render the individual hearings unnecessary,” according to political correspondent Gil Hoffman.

He writes that “Boston-born Aliza Landes joined the Likud Party two years ago, paid her membership dues, and supported and voted for the party, but…received a letter on Sunday telling her that she was about to be expelled from the party pending her attending a hearing within two weeks. The letter was dated December 11, two weeks and one day short of the December 26 Likud leadership race.”

According to the paper’s exposé, “Landes’ loyalty to Likud was questioned by the party administration because she registered her membership through the website of the New Likudniks, a group opposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership that is seen as relatively dovish and against anti-political corruption.”

She insists that she joined the party through the group only because “their website simplified the process,” the Post reports.

On the other hand, she counters that “asking me who I am going to vote for is ludicrous, adding that “things like this make me feel incredibly alienated.”

Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the election later this month.

Referring to the New Likudniks, the head of the Likud’s internal court, former MK Michael Kleiner, charges, as cited by the political correspondent, that “this group has acted in an ugly way as a fifth column within the party. They told people whom they registered that they don’t have to vote Likud, and they can be leftists who work against the party. Sharing a post that you cannot vote for Likud because it’s corrupt is definitely grounds for being kicked out.”

According to the newspaper report, Kleiner promised that anyone who appeals the expulsion will be allowed to vote, even if they cannot attend a hearing.

“They are trying to kick out whoever they can in order to influence the election,” argues New Likudniks leader Nir Hershman, as reported by the Post. “They are monitoring people like the Stasi [East German secret police]. The Likud needs to be purified,” he told the paper’s political correspondent.

Hershman said his group registered nearly 10,000 people, and charges that “the fight against them had crossed red lines,” writes Hoffman.