Israel’s Netanyahu Promises to Support Sharon\'s Campaign for Premiership
Former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised to aid Ariel Sharon's election campaign. Netanyahu and Sharon are due to meet next Sunday to discuss how the former will be involved in the campaign, reported The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Last week, Netanyahu withdrew his candidacy for the post of prime minister and for the leadership of Likud.
"I have decided to withdraw my candidature for the leadership of Likud and for the post of prime minister because the Knesset (parliament) did not have the courage to respond to the expectations of the people by dissolving itself, I have thus kept my promises," Netanyahu said.
"But I will definitely consider standing for the direction of Likud and the post of prime minister if the Knesset is dissolved in the future, and so help build a stable and efficient government in Israel," he said.
Earlier Monday, former Israeli FM David Levy enthusiastically endorsed Likud leader Ariel Sharon's campaign for prime minister yesterday at a meeting of his Gesher Party at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, the Israeli daily said.
"We will tell our friends and supporters everywhere to back the election of Ariel Sharon for prime minister," Levy told the sparsely attended crowd of supporters of the nearly defunct party.
Gesher joined Prime Minister Ehud Barak's One Israel after Levy left the Likud over personal differences with former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He resigned from his post as foreign minister in Barak's government, alleging that the prime minister made too many concessions to the Palestinians and did not involve him enough in negotiations.
Quoted by the paper, Likud whip Reuven Rivlin praised Levy's decision and called him "one of the veterans of the Herut movement around today, who is one of the Knesset's strongest believers in maintaining the Land of Israel."
Officials of one Israel reacted to Levy's announcement with derision, said the daily, calling it absurd that, while Levy would be prohibited from running in the next Knesset election if he left One Israel for the Likud, he can legally remain in One Israel while campaigning for Sharon in the election for prime minister – (Several Sources)
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