Report: Sheldon Adelson Behind Bennett, Shaked’s New Right

Sheldon Adelson, Sheldon, Adelson, Trumpp
Sheldon Adelson. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

A report in the weekend’s Hebrew-language edition of Hamodia says that the New Right party announced last week by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked was strongly advocated by none other than Sheldon Adelson, publisher of Yisrael Hayom. The report said that Adelson had decided to back Bennett, because he sees the education minister as “prime minister material.” Given that Binyamin Netanyahu’s political career is set to end sooner or later – either if he is indicted or if he serves one more term as prime minister – Adelson is seeking to groom a replacement for Netanyahu, of whom he has been highly supportive.

Neither Yisrael Hayom nor New Right had any comment on the report.

Meanwhile, Channel 20 reported Sunday that New Right was having trouble recruiting activists to get out the vote – and as a result, Ayelet Shaked has informed supporters and potential supporters that the New Right’s intent is not to take votes from Jewish Home, but from other parties. At a series of meetings with Jewish Home activists, some of whom said they would switch to the new party and some of whom have refused, Shaked said that “anyone who in the past voted for Jewish Home should continue to do so. We are trying to get votes from the Likud, but mostly from the new parties established by Benny Gantz and Orly Levy-Abukasis.” Shaked told the activists that those were “fake right” parties, adding that the purpose of New Right was to ensure that voters who chose a right-wing list were getting what they voted for.

According to a Maariv poll Friday, if elections were held now, the New Right would get 11 Knesset seats. The party has not announced its full list of candidates, but among them will be Jewish Home MK Shuli Mualem and Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, who this week accepted an offer to join the list. In the poll, Jewish Home’s electoral power is significantly diminished – but it would still pass the electoral threshold, getting four seats. A poll in Yisrael Hayom, meanwhile, showed New Right getting just nine seats, with Jewish Home failing to pass the electoral threshold.