It represents “the only chance” for the right-wing parties overall to achieve an absolute majority in parliament, says New Right.
By World Israel News Staff
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced Monday that his New Right party will run separately in the March 2 Knesset election and not join the right-wing parties running together as a consolidated ticket in the parliamentary ballot.
A New Right statement said that running separately represented “the only chance” for the right-wing parties overall to achieve an absolute majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.
Israelis are going to the polls for the third time within a year due to the inability of either of the largest parties to form a governing coalition in the stalemated parliament.
In April, New Right ran alone and failed to gain enough votes to enter the Knesset. In the September election, the party not only joined a combined right-wing list but was placed in the first spot. The result was seven seats for the joint faction.
The New Right leadership has alternated between Bennett and former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Currently, Bennett is at the helm.
Despite its failure in April, New Right believes that if it runs separately this time, it can ultimately achieve more seats for the right-wing camp that could then form a government coalition to keep Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in office.
The assessment is based on the hope that because New Right is comprised of both religious and secular members, it could sway voters away from Netanyahu’s main challenger, the Blue and White faction. The parties who are joining the combined right-wing list are religious.
Blue and White, as well as Yisrael Beytenu, a key party in determining who becomes the next prime minister, has spoken of forming a “liberal” government on the issue of religion.
New Right says that it intends to promote an election platform that stresses religious tolerance in Israeli society alongside a tough security stance against the Palestinians.