Senior Blue and White party member Moshe Ya’alon on Monday compared the Likud party to the Hamas terror group, accusing it of controlling its members through fear and the idolization of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu above all else.
Speaking to the Knesset Channel, Ya’alon, once a senior member of Likud who has become a sharp critic of Netanyahu ever since leaving it in 2016, said the fact that the ruling party, unlike his Blue and White, holds primaries, doesn’t necessarily make it democratic.
“So what if they choose [their list] through democratic elections? Hamas is also elected in democratic elections,” he said, adding that Likud “controls MKs with a balance of terror.”
Ya’alon said the party was led in a dictatorial manner and that idolization of Netanyahu had “become something very dangerous to the future of the country… harmful for democracy. It’s become the worship of a single man.
“Does Likud owe its existence only to him? Does the country owe its existence only to him? He’s had his achievements, but between that and becoming a ‘democtatorship’ in which he’s only looking out for himself… It’s all about his personal interests.”
Referring Likud activists and MKs, he said: “We’re not saying they don’t understand anything. When you speak privately with quite a few Knesset members… There are Likud MKs who understand that there is a problem here, but they don’t dare [do anything].”
In response, Likud said Ya’alon had “lost it a long time ago. To compare Likud and Hamas? The left-wing party of [Yair] Lapid, [Benny] Gantz and [Ya’alon] is continuing to incite against over a million Likud voters who chose Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the country. What an embarrassment.”
Likud and Blue and White are once again facing off in elections on September 17, after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition following the April 9 national vote. Blue and White leaders have said they will not join a Netanyahu-led government.
Netanyahu called new elections — opting not to give President Reuven Rivlin the chance to task another lawmaker with forming a government — after he was unable to bridge the gaps between ultra-Orthodox parties and the secularist Yisrael Beytenu led by Avigdor Liberman.
Relaunching his party’s campaign efforts last week, Blue and White leader Gantz accused the premier of leading the country into “total chaos” and slamming his decision to call another national poll five months after the last one as a “farce” and a “national joke.”