Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel announced on Wednesday evening that they have joined their Yamina and Derech Eretz parties and will be running for the next Knesset as the Zionist Spirit (HaRuach HaTzionit) party.
Shaked and Hendel said that their goal is to form a broad national Zionist government. They expressed opposition to a narrow government, either from the right or the left, and said that their party will lead to the formation of a unity government between the Likud and center-left parties.
Shaked is serving as the head of the party, Hendel is number two and his Derech Eretz partner Tzvi Hauser was given the fourth slot. The third spot is reserved for a candidate from the Religious Zionist community.
The Derech Eretz Party had entered the current Knesset in a joint run with Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party. However, when Sa’ar and Benny Gantz decided to merge their parties earlier this month, Hendel and Hauser were not included on the list due to various political infights.
Deputy Minister Matan Kahana is not part of the party for now as he has repeatedly expressed his opposition to sitting in the same government as Binyamin Netanyahu. It is unclear whether he has completely ruled out joining the Zionist Spirit party as he has not yet received any offers to join other parties. He was especially interested in joining Blue and White but Benny Gantz is not interested due to the Chareidi boycott against him.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)