Top Likud parliamentarians are reportedly riled up following the publication of the joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu Knesset list for the coming elections. The MKs are railing against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud chairman, for allowing the slate to tilt toward representatives of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s party, the Hebrew press reported Thursday.
The final version of the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list, which was released on Wednesday night ahead of Thursday’s deadline for submitting Knesset slates, revealed that several members of Likud had been pushed slightly down the list to make way for the Beytenu candidates, even though the roster broadly holds to the agreed two Likud slots for each Yisrael Beytenu slot.
According to Maariv, many in Likud believe that Liberman was able to best Netanyahu during the negotiations to finalize the list, achieving a more favorable ranking for his own party’s candidates.
The two parties announced in October that they would be campaigning on a joint slate in the general elections scheduled for January 22, 2013.
The final joint list confirms the rise of Likud hardliners Danny Danon, Miri Regev and Moshe Feiglin, and the exclusion of moderates and veteran ministers like Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and Michael Eitan.
The top four places on the list are evenly split, with two candidates from each party: (in descending order) Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Liberman, Gideon Sa’ar and Yair Shamir. Within the top 15 slots on the list, four Yisrael Beyteynu candidates were bumped up a spot, while five Likud members were taken down a notch. Of the first 15 candidates, 10 are Likud members; and of the top 40, 15 are Yisrael Beytenu candidates.
“Bibi sold us out,” a top official within the Likud told Ynet. “He just gave in to Liberman, who took care of his own people at the expense of Likud candidates.”
Particularly contentious are the candidates who snagged the 30th to 40th spots on the list, close to the maximum number of seats the joint list is predicted to win. Here the places are nearly evenly divided between the two parties, while many in Likud believe they should have had more spots by virtue of being the bigger faction.
According to Maariv, Likud’s Ayoob Kara, a deputy minister who captured the 39th slot, intends to petition against the agreement and many party members are weighing supporting him, though the chances of a successful petition against Netanyahu are slim.
“We were clearly told how the ranks will be determined, and last night we found out that we’ve been pushed down to unrealistic spots,” another Likud candidate said to Ynet. “We won’t let this stand. They waited until the last minute so we wouldn’t be able to take action against this scheme.”
Following is the full joint slate submitted by Likud and Yisrael Beytenu:
1) Benjamin Netanyahu — Likud
2) Avigdor Liberman — Yisrael Beytenu
3) Gideon Sa’ar — Likud
4) Yair Shamir — Yisrael Beytenu
5) Gilad Erdan– Likud
6) Silvan Shalom — Likud
7) Uzi Landau — Yisrael Beytenu
8) Yisrael Katz — Likud
9) Danny Danon — Likud
10) Sofa Landver — Yisrael Beytenu
11) Reuven Rivlin — Likud
12) Moshe Ya’alon — Likud
13) Yitzhak Aharonovitch — Yisrael Beytenu
14) Ze’ev Elkin — Likud
15) Tzipi Hotovely — Likud
16) Orly Levy — Yisrael Beytenu
17) Yariv Levin — Likud
18) Yuli Edelstein — Likud
19) Faina Kirshenbaum — Yisrael Beytenu
20) Haim Katz — Likud
21) Miri Regev — Likud
22) David Rotem — Yisrael Beytenu
23) Moshe Feiglin — Likud
24) Yuval Steinitz — Likud
25) Robert Ilatov — Yisrael Beytenu
26) Tzachi Hanegbi — Likud
27) Limor Livnat — Likud
28) Hamad Amar — Yisrael Beytenu
29) Ofir Akunis — Likud
30) Gila Gamliel — Likud
31) Shimon Ohayon — Yisrael Beytenu
32) Carmel Shama Hacohen — Likud
33) Alex Miller — Yisrael Beytenu
34) Leon Litinetsky — Yisrael Beytenu
35) David Bitan — Likud
36) Uri Faraj — Likud
37) Yulia Melinovski — Yisrael Beytenu
38) Kati Sheetrit — Likud
39) Ayoob Kara — Likud
40) Smadar Bat Adam — Yisrael Beytenu