Right-Wing Unity Ahead of Elections Questionable

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Next week, the various political parties in Israel will have to submit their final lists for the September 17, 2019 election for the 22nd Knesset. With the deadline approaching, it now appears right-wing unity may not occur, as some of the players are simply unwilling to compromise to sign a unity agreement between parties.

According to Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennet of the New Right party, the leaders of the Bayit Yehudi party, Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Betzalel Smotrich, are unwilling to agree to demands regarding to their placement on a combined lineup including all the parties: Bayit Yehudi, Ichud Leumi (Smotrich), New Right and Otzma Yehudit. The two explain that from an electoral outlook, the New Right is ahead of Bayit Yehudi, and therefore, due to her electoral popularity, the combined list must be headed by Shaked, not Peretz. In addition, there is no agreement regarding the placement of the personalities from the various parties on the combined list.

From Bayit Yehudi, they remind Bennet and Shaked the rabbonim have decided that only a Shomer Shabbos person may run the party, ruling out Shaked. The two however are uninterested in this, insisting Shaked will bring the most votes.

For now, efforts towards unity continue amid a realization that if the various right-wing parties run independent of one another, many votes may be trashed, leading to the formation of a left-wing coalition government headed by MK Benny Gantz.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)