Shaked: We Won’t Recommend Netanyahu for PM ‘at Any Price’

YERUSHALAYIM -
The Knesset in Yerushalayim.

While negotiations are still going on in earnest to establish a single rightwing list for the upcoming September elections, the two main elements of that list – the United Right Party and the New Right – don’t see eye to eye on every issue, among them whether or not Binyamin Netanyahu will be the next prime minister. While the heads of the former have declared several times that they would only join a government headed by Netanyahu, Ayelet Shaked, who heads the New Right, refused to commit to that.

Speaking to Yediot Acharonot, Shaked said that her party would join a Netanyahu-led government “only if it is rightwing and its values are the ones that are important for Israel, and not sacrificed for the sake of forming a coalition.” If Netanyahu is unable to form a coalition – as polls seem to indicate – “there will not be a third round of elections. We will not support additional elections, this is not a way to run a country.”

Shaked was referring to recent reports that Netanyahu and Blue and White head Benny Gantz had been in contact regarding the possibility of establishing a unity government. With polls consistently showing that the rightwing bloc, without Avigdor Liberman, would get a maximum of 57 seats, and that parties on the left, without the United Arab List, would achieve about 45, analysts have said that a unity government would be the only path forward if the results of the elections reflected the findings of the polls. Shaked did not say if her party would recommend someone else in the Likud as prime minister if Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition.

The New Right on Wednesday again expressed its desire to run jointly with the United Right List, and to create a single list that will combine the two parties and let them run as a “technical bloc,” with the parties going their separate ways after the election. “The proposal we made is more than fair, and actually favors the United Right List,” New Right sources told Walla News.

The proposal, according to Walla News, would create a list in which New Right and List candidates are equally represented, with List candidates taking the odd-numbered slots (3, 5, 7 and so on) – something that could give the List an edge in a situation where a vote-exchange agreement with another party (most likely the Likud) could give the united party an additional few votes, pushing another candidate into the Knesset.

With that, the head of the list would be Ayelet Shaked, whom according to all polls would be a much bigger draw than Peretz. Peretz would be number two on the list, followed by Bezalel Smotrich, and Naftali Bennett would take the fourth slot.