Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon aids accused Sunday that Likud Rebels are only attempting to humiliate the prime minister, calling the Likud convention members not to support a proposal against including labor in the government.
The Likud central committee will convene Wednesday in Tel-Aviv upon the request of Likud rebels, who called delegates to oppose SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attempts to include labor in the government.
Likud rebels, headed by Minister without portfolio Uzi Landau are trying to collect delegatesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ signatures for holding a secret ballot.
Apparently, Sharon’s associates decided to turn the dispute into a battle for the prime ministerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prestige.
Unexpectedly, in Sunday evening interview with Israeli TV channel 2, Education Minister Limor Livnat, a known Likud hardliner, lashed out at SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s opponents, accusing them with being motivated by personal interests.
Livnat expressed concern over a convention where ‘we’ll see a party headed for suicide on a live broadcast.’
A majority of convention delegates are thought to be against Labor joining, but Sharon associates Sunday said that good leg work will narrow the gap.
Minister Landau and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who is also opposed to Labor’s joining, will meet Monday to coordinate their positions.
Even when the voting is not binding to Sharon, the prime minister decided to cancel his Wednesday meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and prepare for the Likud convention.
As MK Omri Sharon is planning to meet some 200 Likud branch heads on Monday evening, Landau will send out letters to all convention delegates warning them that bringing Labor in ‘will be bad for the country and will shatter the Likud,’
Sharon canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tolerate another humiliating defeat after his disengagement was voted out with a considerable majority by the same Likud convention two months ago.
Once more, the position of Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters will be crucial to the voting results. Netanyahu, who earlier expressed strong opposition to Labor joining the cabinet, is still sitting at the wall watching.