Despite reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been frantic to stop it from happening, New Right chairwoman Ayelet Shaked said Monday that she was actively seeking an alliance with the Union of Right-Wing Parties.
“We made a proposal based on equal [representation]. This is something that can be agreed on as early as tonight. It’s the right thing to do, putting ego aside,” she said, referring to the egos of other politicians.
On Sunday, Naftali Bennett agreed to take the No. 2 spot on the New Right electoral list, as a welcome-back gesture to Shaked.
The deal currently being proposed by Shaked would have URWP chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz step aside for her take over the leadership. The “equal representation” referred to an even dividing up of the places on the electoral list.
Shaked said she spoke by phone with Rabbi Peretz and the two agreed to meet to discuss a possible merger. He has been under considerable pressure to vacate the top spot as polls show a groundswell of support for her, but so far has refused to do so.
Meanwhile, some opposition to joining with Shaked was surfacing.
“These arrogant preconditions do not seem to advance us toward unity,” URWP director general Yehuda Vald tweeted in response to a Walla report saying Shaked demanded her party receive all the odd-numbered slots in the slate’s top ten while URWP would receive the even spots.
Shaked also wants to bring the far-right Otzma Yehudit party back into the alliance, after it went out on its own over irreconcilable differences with URWP.
Regarding PM Netanyahu’s role, she said at the press conference that, “We live in a democratic state. The public will determine this matter.”