The Yamina and New Hope parties have agreed to a non-aggression pact, aimed at causing minimum damage to each other as they seek to cause maximum damage to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, which they hope to remove from power.
Senior New Hope candidate Ze’ev Elkin, who defected from Likud earlier in the year, said on Monday of the deal with Yamina
“We are rivals, and they sometimes attack us, but we have made a strategic decision not to continue the quarreling,” he said at a conference hosted jointly by Makor Rishon and Regavim. “We think that it does not get us anywhere. Our purpose is to replace Netanyahu, and to build a new government here,” reports Arutz Sheva.
“I believe that the moment it turns out that Netanyahu does not have 61 [Knesset seats] – and write down what I am telling you now – he will not have 61, he also sees this. You see how annoyed he is, how he is grumbling, how he is going out to the media, which he usually does only in the last week. He sees he’s getting farther away from 61. The moment it becomes clear that he doesn’t have 61, at the end of the day we will form the government, and we will do it in close cooperation with Naftali Bennett and Yamina. I believe that we will be able to cooperate, to work together, and to form a government.”
While each party is polling at only 11-12 Knesset seats, they will need much more to form a government, presumably Yesh Atid (20), Yisrael Beytenu (8) and others, conceivably the chareidi parties, a very unclear path to a majority.
Elkin mentions the parties that they will not work with: “It’s clear that the Joint Arab List is a party with which we will not form a coalition. I don’t think Meretz will want to sit with us, because we speak clearly about ourselves as a center-right party which opposes a Palestinian state.”