Otzma Yehudit, Zehut Could Run on Two-Party Ticket

YERUSHALAYIM -
Otzma Yehudit party leader and Israeli lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir in March, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Otzma Yehudit and Zehut, the two parties so far left out of the newly formed right-wing alliance, could run on a two-party ticket with a viable chance of making it into the Knesset, according to a poll conducted by Likud, The Times of Israel reported Monday night.

The poll findings are reportedly being used to try to persuade Otzma Yehudit and Zehut to merge for the September run, thereby avoiding further attempts at negotiating their entry into the alliance of New Right and United Right agreed to earlier in the day.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly pushing for Otzma Yehudit to join New Right and United Right, but the prospects look dubious. Now, he is said to be promoting a marriage of the excluded parties.

Meanwhile, New Right leader Ayelet Shaked told Arutz Sheva she would like to see Zehut and Otzma Yehudit agree to participate in the joint list. “In the coming days the party lists will be closed. I would like both Zehut and Otzma Yehudit to join the larger faction and build one big party like the Republican Party.”

When asked about hard feelings within Otzma Yehudit against the New Right and United Right factions, Shaked said that “it’s difficult, but possible … In the end we need people’s goodwill and understanding and the ability to make concessions. Naftali Bennett and also Bezalel Smotrich, everyone gave in a little bit, and I’m sure that even if they knew how to give up a bit, we could unite them all.”

Bennett conceded the No. 1 position on the New Right list to Shaked, and Rabbi Rafi Peretz and MK Smotrich both took lower spots, allowing Shaked to head the slate.