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June 04, 1993 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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FOR THESE LUXURIOUS CARS!

NEW 1993 SEDAN DEVILLE

David Levy Becomes
A Likud Has-Been

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W

hen David Levy
came to political
prominence in the
Likud's "revolu-
tion" of 1977, he immediate-
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His grade-school education,
his pompous speaking style,
his thick Moroccan accent,
his 11 children, all made
him a caricature Sephardi
for the Ashkenazi snobs of
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t GMAC SMARTLEASE 36 months. First pymt. plus $500 ref. sec. dep., $1500.00 down and plate or transfer due on delivery. 4% state
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11

He developed a touchi-
ness, a pride that was easily
wounded. His pride has
been wounded again, this
time by the Likud's new,
absolute ruler, Benjamin
"Bibi" Netanyahu, and he is
in self-imposed exile from
the party. Angry and hurt,
he boycotted the Likud's
recent convention.
"I said before the pri-
maries, that if this man is
chosen, I will not want to
act (in a party leadership
role), and now I am not
chasing after the man who
appears today to be the
`strong chairman' of the
movement, in order to get
some bone or crumb or posi-
tion of some sort. I am not
interested in any position.
Must I grovel before this
man, after he said what he
said about me and my
friends? Not me," Mr. Levy
said in a television news
interview.
This is the only statement
he has made to the press
since the start of the Likud
convention last week. Other
than that, Mr. Levy has
kept to himself and his clos-
est associates, either in his
home in the northern devel-
opment town of Beit Shean
or in his Tel Aviv office. Not
a word passes between him
and Mr. Netanyahu.
For many years, Mr.
Levy, who was foreign min-
ister in the last Shamir gov-
ernment, has been the sec-
ond most popular man in
the
Likud, after the party
leader. He proved this in
successive party ballots, the
latest being the March pri-
maries, in which he drew 26
percent of the vote, half of
Mr. Netanyahu's total.
His power is chiefly
among Sephardim in the
poor development towns and
urban slums, who have

David Levy:Too thin-skinned for
politics?

always been crucial to the
Likud's electoral showings.
But now he and his follow-
ers are utterly cut off from
the party establishment,
after enduring a series of
slights.
The latest came at the
very end of the Likud con-
vention, which led to an''
explosion that upended
what had been a smooth,
unified gathering totally
controlled by Mr.
Netanyahu.
Since the primaries, Mr.
Levy's younger brother,
Maxim, the mayor of Lod
and a power in local Israeli
politics, had been making ,
overtures to Mr. Netanyahu
in an attempt to bring the
two camps together. Maxim
Levy went to the conven-<
tion, intending to run for
head of the party central
committee, a once-powerful
body that has been stripped
of nearly all its authority
under the new party rules,
which give all-inclusive
power to Mr. Netanyahu.
Three other candidates
loyal to Mr. Netanyahu
planned to run against
Maxim Levy, but the chair-
man, fearing a split in the
vote that might give David /
Levy a victory, ordered two
of them to step down.
When Maxim Levy
learned of this, he took the
podium at the convention
and said to Mr. Netanyahu,
who was seated next to him:,
"Mr. Chairman, I leave
you with your dictatorship.
Do with this movement of
yours what you wish."
Mr. Netanyahu has
brushed off the split with
David Levy, saying the
party is still intact, with

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