Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said she wanted to lead a broad right-wing coalition.
By World Israel News Staff
Ayelet Shaked, former Justice Minister and newly minted leader of the New Right party, spoke outside her home to reporters on Thursday about the difficult negotiations to form a unified bloc of right-wing parties ahead of the September elections.
“Unity on the right is the order of the day. I think that the public will not forgive those who will not allow it,” Shaked said.
“We have also compromised on the demands for a [list combining members of all the parties]. The ball is now in the hands of the right-wing parties. I call on them to accept the proposal and go together as soon as possible,” she said.
“The matter is urgent because I intend, if this union is possible, to continue to carry out additional coalitions of all the right-wing parties and to establish a kind of right-wing bloc,” she continued, similar to the U.S. Republican party, “with a wide range of views to the right of the Likud.”
She said she considered both the Otzma Yehudit (or “Jewish Power”) and Zehut (“Identity”) parties as members of the “great union” she said she wants to form.
“My goal is to establish a large bloc of the entire ideological right,” she said. “Our goal on the Right is for no vote to be lost and to succeed in forming a government with at least 61 seats.”
Shaked’s comments contradict those made by Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin on Wednesday, who said Shaked wasn’t interested in a union with his party.
Feiglin said, “We wanted to merge with the New Right, because that’s where the public has real hesitations. It didn’t happen because Ayelet decided that she didn’t want it, for her own reasons.”
Both Zehut and the New Right failed in April to pass the electoral threshold, costing the right wing some 250,000 votes.
New Right leaders Shaked and Naftali Bennett say they have learned their lesson and are thus seeking to build a large coalition that will pool all the votes of the right-wing parties in order to prevent a repeat of that failure.
In an interview published on Thursday in daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Shaked said she would back Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as leader of the country, “but on the condition that he establish a right-wing government and that the values that are important to us in the State of Israel won’t be sold on the altar of establishing a coalition.”
She referred to the possibility that Netanyahu may try to form a joint coalition with opposition leader Benny Gantz, who leads the Blue and White party, or build some other constellation of parties that would lean toward the left-wing of the political map.