Likud Activists in West Bank Get Cash Bonus to Recruit Members

One of the group's purposes, its website says, is to rid the Knesset of ministers Michael Eitan and Dan Meridor, who it says have 'shifted to the Zionist left.'

Likud activists in West Bank settlements are paying youngsters to recruit members to the party.

Haaretz recently found that Likud activists have hired recruiters who receive bonuses of dozens of shekels for every new member they enlist. The new recruits are not required to vote for the Likud at all, only to "register and influence political moves" inside the party.

likud - Moti Milrod - July 30 2010
Moti Milrod

Likud activists from West Bank settlements have formed a group dubbed "The Movement for the Growth of the National Camp" headed by Shevah Stern of Shilo, a prominent Likud activist of 30 years. Other members include head of the Shomron Regional Council Gershon Mesika, head of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council Avi Roeh and activists Natan Engelsman of Shilo and David Zviel of Psagot.

One of the group's purposes, its website says, is to rid the Knesset of ministers Michael Eitan and Dan Meridor, who have "shifted to the Zionist left."

The group has increased its recruitment efforts due to the recent new regulation requiring a 16-month "cooling off" period before a new Likud member may vote in the primaries.

The group hired youngsters who answered ads looking for people "who are fed up with the left's taking over the state," to go from door to door in the West Bank and recruit new members. The activists, mostly in their 20s, were hired for a minimum wage plus a bonus for each new member.

The bonus sum is different for a member recruited door to door, at home gatherings or at another activity. An activist can earn NIS 150-600 in three hours in one evening, group members said.

The recruiters are transported from Jerusalem and Ariel to the various settlements, where they are supposed to go from door to door.

The "national camp" intends to register thousands of ideological members in the settlements. The group's website says "once central committee members elected the Likud's representatives to the Knesset, so each committee member was a king. Today the situation has changed - the party members vote in the primaries on the future and fate of each Knesset member and minister, so the member is also his 'employer.' Usually the candidate 'pays' the voter with promises before the elections, but we can reverse the order. We will demand of the politicians to keep their promises now, and win our confidence in the future."

The new Likud members don't have to vote for the party. "At the moment you are not asked to vote for Likud in the general elections. All you're asked to do is to register and influence the ... election of the Likud's candidates for the next Knesset," the site says.

"I have never paid anyone to register although I know some other groups who do it," Zviel commented.

Likud spokeswoman Noga Rappaport said: "We know nothing of this. To register to the Likud you must give a bank account number for a standing order, to avoid anything that could be interpreted as an infraction of the law."