The procedure decided upon by the Likud elections committee for the party leadership primary isn’t even a joke. It surely doesn’t reflect any sort of choice; it merely makes one queasy.
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There will be two slips waiting for the 100,000 Likud members who come to polls on February 23. One will have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s name on it, while the other will be gleaming white. The members will be asked to either choose Netanyahu or to submit a blank slip, which in any case is not counted.
There has never been anything like this before. In elections with only one candidate, voters either ratify him or veto him. There’s a slip that says “for” and a slip that says “against.” That’s what happened, for example, in the presidential election of 2007 when Reuven Rivlin dropped out, leaving Shimon Peres in his pristine solitude. The Knesset convened and voted for him or against him. That's how it is in the election of the state comptroller, if there are less than two candidates.
There is no other way in a democracy; there is no other way for a normal party that still has a modicum of self-respect.
Netanyahu is a-f-r-a-i-d. He’s too scared to even run against himself. Even when he stands alone, as befits a Caesar, even when there is no challenger, he shamelessly seeks to clear from his path any possibility of embarrassment, scandal or farce. He fears that the number of “against” votes will be greater and the whole process with look pathetic.
This is the source of this scandalous decision by the party’s internal election committee, which has turned itself and the ruling party into a laughingstock. It does not allow Netanyahu’s opponents the freedom to vote against him.
Few people will bother to come to the polls for the privilege of submitting a blank slip. There will be no Likud members coming in droves, only the most loyal Bibi-lovers.
This is what the Likud looks like in 2016, in its days under a lone ruler. This is Jabotinsky’s version of glory and majesty in the age of Netanyahu.