Likud newcomer hints at compromise on East Jerusalem

Likud newcomer hints at compromise on East Jerusalem

Yoav Kisch says party ‘aligning with the sane and moderate right’; Netanyahu responds, ‘United Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital’

Yoav Kisch (Courtesy)
Yoav Kisch (Courtesy)

Yoav Kisch, who is likely to become a Likud MK in the next Knesset, has hinted that Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem should not be under Israeli sovereignty.

Speaking during a political convention of the Boy Scout youth movement on Wednesday, Kisch said: “There is no doubt that my first and basic outlook is that where there are Jews it is Israel and where there are Palestinians – I don’t want them to vote for me.”

“Many people think like this,” Kisch is heard saying, in a recording of his speech aired by Army Radio on Sunday. “I think Likud is going to that place, aligning with the sane and moderate right wing, which wants a Jewish and democratic state here.”

In response, the election headquarters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The united Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital. This is the stance of Netanyahu and Likud over the years and it will not change.”

Kisch, is one of the leaders of the New Likud movement, was elected in the party primaries to the 19th slot on the Knesset slate, the slot reserved to a candidate from the central Tel Aviv region. The movement calls for Likud to return to its liberal roots, and the lion’s share of its agenda, as published on its website, deals with social justice issues like the cost of living and ultra-Orthodox military service.

In a recent op-ed in the Israel Hayom daily, right-wing columnist Emily Amrousi slammed New Likud, claiming its members were left-wing activists trying to infiltrate Likud and change it from within.

In response, New Likud wrote on its Facebook page: “We are naturally not leftists. We understand that for Emily Amrousi the concept of liberal Zionist Israelis joining politics is new, but there is no reason to brand it left. There is a huge right-wing, Zionist, liberal and socially minded public that feels it has been underrepresented in the Likud list in the past few years.”

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