Mounting pressure on smaller right-wing parties to drop out of elections

The Zehut, Otzma Yehudit and Noam parties have been under pressure from Likud members and Chabad Rabbis to drop out of the race, so as to not lose thousands of potential votes.

By IDAN ZONSHINE
August 26, 2019 21:08
2 minute read.
Zehut Party leader Moshe Feiglin at an event of his party in Tel Aviv

Zehut Party leader Moshe Feiglin at an event of his party in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: MOSHE BASOS)

According to channel 13 news, Likud member Natan Eshel met with far right Otzma Yehudit Party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir on Monday afternoon in an attempt to convince party leaders that Otzma Yehudit should drop out of the election race so as to not waste thousands of right-wing votes.

No poll has thus far shown Otzma Yehudit as having any chance of passing the electoral threshold of votes needed to enter the Knesset, and comments made by Ben-Gvir on Monday morning suggest that this is the party's current plan of action.


Walla News reported that advancements have also been made in talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Zehut Party leader Moshe Feiglin that may lead to an official resignation announcement from Feiglin in the coming days. According to sources privy to the negotiation process, Feiglin and Netanyahu met again this week. There, Netanyahu allegedly promised Feiglin a high-ranking position in the Ministry of Finance, along with a number of economic proposals that correspond with Zehut's libertarian economic agenda.

In addition to economic proposals, Netanyahu reportedly also offered to take steps to legalize cannabis, a primary issue of the Zehut party's platform.

Feiglin responded to reports of the offer in a facebook post on Monday evening, telling constituents that despite the pressure to quit the race, he will be true to his word and submit the decision to a referendum for Zehut supporters, and they will decide the fate of the party.

Far right party Noam has seen a shift in strategy aswell. In a Monday evening press release Noam officials announced they will be holding a massive survey in order to gauge how many people currently plan on voting for them, after which they will reassess their situation and consider dropping out of the race. The Noam party has so far failed to place in any poll, and have come under fire ever since their inception for basing their marketing campaign on shaming the LGBTQ community.


This pressure is not exclusive to politicians. Rabbis in the messianic branch of Chabad have signed a declaration urging haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews to not waste their votes on smaller parties that are unlikely to cross the electoral threshold: "Beware, not a single vote can be lost."

In addition to the clauses stating the importance of voting for larger haredi parties only, the declaration also states that haredi Jews are not to vote for any party that supports giving any type of autonomy to "gentiles," reiterating that even discussing the issue aloud should be banned outright.


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