Shaked: PM has routinely tried to banish religious-Zionists to opposition

“We will recommend Netanyahu [to form the next government], but Netanyahu can easily turn to [Blue and White leader Benny] Gantz and [Labor-Gesher leader Amir] Peretz to form a government."

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September 4, 2019 09:33
1 minute read.
United Right leader Ayelet Shaked

United Right leader Ayelet Shaked. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having routinely sought to banish religious-Zionist parties to the opposition following his election victories over the last decade.

Shaked also implicitly accused Netanyahu of having failed to advance right-wing policies, saying that in his BarIlan speech, while Netanyahu warily backed a demilitarized Palestinian state, she and her political partner Naftali Bennett had been promoting the annexation of 60% of the West Bank.

“Netanyahu wants us to be small and weak,” Shaked said Monday night at a conference held in Jerusalem by Srugim, a religious-Zionist news website.

“When we entered politics, Netanyahu gave his Bar-Ilan speech while Bennett and I put out our pacification program [calling for the annexation of Area C of the West Bank],” noted Shaked.

“Everyone looked at us as if we were crazy – but today, everyone is talking about [Israeli] sovereignty [over the West Bank].”

Shaked also pointed out that in 2009, Netanyahu had brought in the left-wing Labor Party into his coalition and kept out the hard-right National Union Party; in 2013, he brought in Tzipi Livni’s centrist Hatnua Party and sought to keep out Bayit Yehudi from the coalition altogether.

“We will recommend Netanyahu [to form the next government], but Netanyahu can easily turn to [Blue and White leader Benny] Gantz and [Labor-Gesher leader Amir] Peretz to form a government, which would certainly put the control of the right wing in danger,” said the Yamina leader.

Also present at the conference was Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who rejected complaints that Netanyahu gobbles up the votes of the religious-Zionist community in last minute “gevalt” campaigns aimed at frightening religious voters into choosing Likud.

“There is no such thing as ‘drinking’ Knesset seats [from others],” said Edelstein.


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