The New Right was the first party to launch its election campaign for the upcoming election on March 2nd, revealing its new ads and fliers on Monday. Surprisingly, pictures on the campaign material showed only Defense Minister Naftali Bennett without former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Shaked has not yet decided whether she’s joining her long-time partner Bennett as co-leader of the New Right or she’s returning to her political allies in the National Religious parties. It’s well-known that Shaked was opposed to leaving Bayit Yehudi to form the New Right in the first place and feels a strong affinity with the Religious Zionist parties. She is expected to announce her plans in the next few days.
Bennett, who announced on Saturday night that the New Right would be running independently in the current election campaign, announced on Monday that the New Right would be targeting “soft-right” voters who supported Yisrael Beiteinu or Blue and White in the previous election, with a focus on Russian voters and areas that were Blue and White strongholds in the last elections, especially Tel Aviv and the Sharon area.
The party’s featured slogan is “Definitely right – not “as if” and not “at times.” The slogan is apparently a dig at the mixed messages of Yisrael Beiteinu, which has always been viewed as a right-wing party but has recently refused to join the right-wing bloc, and the Blue and White party, which lacks a cohesive direction.
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The New Right announced on Saturday night that it will be running independently in the upcoming elections, stating: “What we are: A firm hand against the Arab enemy, a Judaism that draws people close without coercion, national unity, personal liberty, reining in aggressive companies, strengthening business owners, restraining judicial activism, not ceding Israeli territory and sovereignty.”
In the September elections, the New Right joined Bayit Yehudi and the National Union to form Yamina, headed by Ayelet Shaked, due to its failure to independently pass the threshold in the April elections. However, the merger won only seven seats, far less than they had anticipated. Shortly after the election, the parties went their separate ways, as they had planned from the beginning
The Labor-Gesher party also launched its election campaign on Monday, announcing that Labor, under the leadership of Amir Peretz, is again joining with the Gesher party, headed by Orly Levy-Abekasis, for a joint run in the upcoming elections.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)