‘New Right’ party eyeing centrist voters  

The party that broke away from the national-religious Jewish Home will compete for voters who would tend to support Yesh Atid and Israel Resilience.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

The New Right party, which recently broke away from the religious-Zionist Jewish Home, seeks to woo centrist voters who would otherwise tend to support Yesh Atid – headed by MK Yair Lapid – and Israel Resilience, under ex-IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz.

According to a report in Israel Hayom, the newly formed party – headed by ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked – has begun forming its campaign strategy for the upcoming elections, due to be held April 9.

Bennett reportedly told a small group of confidants on Wednesday that the strategy heralds “a new approach” in Israeli politics.

“In recent years, there has been no attempt to transfer votes from one [political] bloc to another,” he explained, “but only within each bloc. We are doing the opposite. Half of Gantz’s Knesset seats can move to us.”

“We have already taken two Knesset seats from him and Lapid,” boasted Bennett, “and our in-depth polls show a stronger trend in the near future. After years, for the first time, Knesset seats will move from one bloc to another.”

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The New Right apparently decided not to attack Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party for the time being. Bennett reportedly told his confidants that Netanyahu, too, has refrained from attacking the New Right because he realizes that the party’s support is vital for his victory.

The New Right has committed to recommending Netanyahu for the role of prime minister after the elections.

“The establishment of the [New Right] party strengthens the right-wing bloc and the national camp,’” Bennett said. “The prime minister understands this too. He knows that we will recommend him and that our party is the barrier preventing leakage of Knesset seats to the center-left bloc. It’s not for nothing that the flames emanating from the Likud have died down.”

Bennett did aim a barb at Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud), saying that she was the only senior Likud figure still attacking the New Right. He called this “background noise” and mentioned her role as then-IDF spokeswoman during the 2005 Gaza disengagement.

Regev’s office fired back, noting that Bennett and Shaked had been “currying favor” with the religious Zionist rabbis ”until yesterday,” and that even these rabbis had determined that the government’s “unfortunate” decision to uproot the Jewish communities in Gaza had to be obeyed. Regev vowed that as a minister, she would never vote for eviction of Jewish communities.

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