The chairman of the New Right party, Naftali Bennet, and his former number two person, Ayelet Shaked, continue negotiations towards Shaked running with Bennet again. Bennet has already indicated that he is willing to step down from the leadership position, yielding to Shaked’s growing electoral popularity. A Walla survey of voters identifying as right-wing shows she enjoys the most support when asked who should lead the right-wing camp.
Bennet is once again calling for “right-wing unity”, using his Facebook page to get the message out. He calls for “placing egos aside” towards running together in a ‘technical bloc’, which means each party will go its own way following elections.
Bennet added that merging with Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party and Rabbi Rafi Peretz’s URWP are both possibilities, emphasizing the new for right-wing achdus. In the last election, Bennet ran with Shaked and they fell about 1200 votes short of getting into Knesset.
Meanwhile, Bennet and Shaked have turned to the head of the URWP, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, seeking specific secured positions on the party’s election roster, KAN11 News reported on Wednesday evening. However, in a live Facebook event, Bennet stated he is not requesting a secured slot as reported but to merge with them for purpose of the election, and then each party would go its own way.
The report stated that they asked that Shaked receive the leadership slot instead of Peretz and that Bennet be given the fourth slot, behind Peretz and Betzalel Smotrich. KAN11 reports they made the request to Smotrich, who chairs the Ichud Leumi party.
While Bennet was unwilling to negotiate a union with Peretz in the last election, clearly, after not entering Knesset in that election, he is now exhibiting flexibility, hoping to merge with other right-wing parties to form a ‘technical bloc’ ahead of elections.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)