‘Netanyahu never really wanted us in his government. That’s the truth,’ Shaked added.
By World Israel News Staff
Yemina leader Ayelet Shaked says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fight against her is personal.
The prime minister has been urging right-wing voters to choose his Likud party on election day over the smaller right-wing Yemina bloc, arguing that the Likud needs to win as many seats as possible to ensure that Netanyahu is given the nod by President Reuven Rivlin to form the next government after Tuesday’s ballot.
“Yemina knows that for them a seat or two does not make a difference,” Netanyahu has said on a number of occasions, meaning that if Yemina wants a right-wing government it should be willing to be a bit smaller if the result would be a larger Likud to ensure the establishment of a rightist governing coalition.
The two biggest parties, Blue and White, headed by MK Benny Gantz, and the Likud have been running neck-and-neck in public opinion polls. The president could turn to Gantz instead to ask him to try and form a coalition.
However, Shaked insists that there is more to the prime minister’s argument against Yemina.
“Netanyahu and his inner circle do not want me as a partner due to personal enmity,” she said, delivering a speech at her party headquarters on Sunday.
“Netanyahu never really wanted us in his government. That’s the truth,” Shaked added.
Shaked served as justice minister in the government formed by Netanyahu in 2015, which continues to serve currently due to the incumbent prime minister’s inability to form a new coalition following the April election.
However, Shaked and her party colleague Education Minister Naftali Bennett were fired by Netanyahu in June.
In her speech on Sunday, Shaked said that the proof that Netanyahu is out to get her and Yemina, “on the advice of that same inner circle,” is that he has not been making the same pronouncements against other natural coalition partners, such as the Haredi religious Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.
The Yemina leader charged that the enmity against her “is stronger” apparently than Netanyahu’s concern for the country.
“I am not going to let the grudge held by Netanyahu and his inner circle against me to harm the really important things for which we are fighting,” Shaked vowed.
In its reaction, the Likud dismissed her comments and repeated the assertion that it’s more important for the Likud to do better in the election in order to prevent the formation of a leftist government with Arab parties.