Otzma Yehudit Under Pressure to Drop Out

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

Leaders of the Otzma Yehudit party were set to meet on Sunday night to decide whether they will remain in the election campaign or give in to pressure from others on the right to drop out.

In a last-minute reshuffle of parties on Wednesday, the far-right Otzma was excluded from of an alliance of New Right with Jewish Home and National Union.

The party filed as an independent slate in time for the deadline, but they are being asked to withdraw from the race since they have little prospect of clearing the electoral threshold. In September, they received 83,600 votes, nearly 50,000 short of the 3.25% of the national vote required to enter the Knesset. If Otzma steps aside, it would likely mean 2 additional mandates for the right-wing bloc, moving Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ closer to a 61-MK majority.

The party declined to comment on a reported by Channel 12 that they have been receiving an offer of a ministerial post for Itamar Ben Gvir if he agrees to drop out.

The party said, “We will not discuss the proposals we are receiving in the media, although it must be understood that Otzma is an ideological and not a ministerial chair-based movement. The secretariat is convening these days and we will make decisions soon,” Arutz Sheva reported.