(by Jacob Kornbluh). Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, riding high in the polls, and who is consistently considered among the Israeli public as the only alternative to Bibi, as the next Prime minister of Israel, took the initiative and the political risk this week, to announce early Knesset elections set for September 4th 2012.
While Netanyahu is credited for bringing the world's awareness to the Iranian threat, taking affirmative actions against Hamas and Jihad Islamic terror organizations, placing the ball in the Palestinians court in testing their seriousness on resuming peace negotiations with Israel, and once and for all leading Israel with a stabilized government. Yet, for some in the Likud this is not enough.
Anglo Likud Central Committee member Gidon Ariel has taken it upon himself to defend democracy within his party, running against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the position of Likud Convention President on Sunday evening. The Likud Convention will determine how Likud MKs will be re-elected as well as make various changes in the Likud constitution.
Ariel, a major figure in the Likud's Maale Adumim chapter, and a frequent guest on the Bibi Report Radio show, decided to challenge Netanyahu after a Likud spokeswoman announced that, in order to show a united front before the general election in September, presidency contenders Government Services Minister Michael Eitan and MK Danny Danon dropped out of the race.
Ariel’s candidacy can be seen as the Likud Central Committee members attempt to keep the power with the Likud and challenge some of the Prime Minister’s policies with which they might not agree.
However, while the motive might be very genuine and presented as protecting the Likud's constitution or platform, the move to challenge the prime minister as he struggles to move forward for another year in operating the government with great stability, should be viewed as undermining the Prime minister's effort to present a strong united Likud party. Since the Prime minister's daily survival in handling the government is dependent on the coalition partners, any move that can be seen as weakening Netanyahu's leadership role in the Likud, is a move that will ultimately weaken the Likud party' dominating lead in the polls and effect the Prime minister's effort to strengthen the Likud as tan enforced ruling party in the next Knesset.
Netanyahu's high approval ratings and popularity should not blindly lead hardline, right-wing likud activists to take credit for the Likud's current position. Rush to lick the bones dry by scoring political points and national attention, winning over the Chairman that has brought the Likud back to power and has successfully led Israel towards political, economical and security stability.
And don't forget Gidon, which Prime Minister stood head to head against Obama's unprecedented policies, handled victoriously Israel's diplomacy to its present stance and managed to halt the Palestinians effort to be granted statehood at the UN, and stood strong against any effort to delegitimize Israel or force upon Israel a peace proposal that would harm Israel's security.
I call upon you, Mr. Gideon Ariel: drop your candidacy immediately and stand behind the leadership of Mr. Netanyahu - for a strong and powerful Likud, and a promising brighter future for Israel.