Bayit Yehudi, Tel Aviv Mayor Drop Out Of Race, Likud Adds 1st-Ever Muslim To List

Party leaders ahead of Israel's 4th elections.

In a surprising political move, the newly elected leader of the national religious Bayit Yehudi party Chagit Moshe announced on Thursday night ahead of the midnight dealine for party list registration that Bayit Yehudi is dropping out of the race for the March 23 election and will instead support Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party.

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu exerted efforts to convince the right-wing parties to unite and succeeded in convincing Betzalel Smotrich to merge his Religious Zionism party with the far-right Otzma Yehudit and Noam parties. Smotrich also entered into negotiations with Moshe but the negotiations were unsuccessful, putting the historical Mafdal/Bayit Yehudi party at risk of being wiped off the political map altogether.

Moshe contacted Naftali Bennett and the two reached an agreement that Bayit Yehudi would not run for the upcoming election but would instead support Yamina. In exchange, Moshe signed an agreement with Bennet that she will be given a ministerial post in the next government if Yamina is a member.

On the other end of the political spectrum, two newly-formed political parties dropped out of the race after failing to reach merger agreements with the Labor party. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai who formed The New Israelis party dropped out of the race, as well as former Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah who formed the Tnufa party. Neither party was expected to pass the electoral threshold on its own.

Their announcements followed Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon’s announcement on Monday that he and his Telem party will not be running in the March elections as his party was also not predicted to pass the electoral threshold.

In other political news, the Likud party announced on Thursday that it was placing a Muslim MK on its list, a first in the party’s history.

Nail Zoabi (Likud)

Nail Zoabi was placed as number 39 on the Likud list, an unrealistic spot for him to enter the Knesset, but it’s possible that Likud will make use of the Norwegian law to enable him to enter the Knesset.

Zoabi, 47, a Likud activist and Netanyahu supporter, is a school principal in the Arab village of Nein.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. We are 100% sick & repulsed by Netanyahu’s
    endless political schemes to stay in power and cover up his long corruption rap sheet.
    By the people, yet for himself only & against the people.