Talks on uniting right begin between Rafi Peretz and Ayelet Shaked

A statement issued by the party said that the meeting was "good and productive."

July 23, 2019 12:28
2 minute read.
Talks on uniting right begin between Rafi Peretz and Ayelet Shaked

Ayelet Shaked and Rafi Peretz. (photo credit: REUTERS & AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Bayit Yehudi leader Rafi Peretz and new New Right chairwoman Ayelet Shaked began negotiating a merger of their parties on Tuesday morning.

A statement issued by the party said that the meeting was "good and productive" and that the negotiating team representing the parties would meet again in upcoming days.

Peretz told party activists in Lod that the New Right would not have half the seats on a united list of the parties to the Right of the Likud. But he said in his speech that he expects a deal to be reached.
“I have no doubt that we will find the path to unity,” Peretz said. “All the parties on the Right must act responsibly and join.” 
New Right leader Ayelet Shaked initiated her first phone conversation with Peretz as party leader on Monday, after taking over the party from Naftali Bennett on Sunday. Shaked called  the conversation positive.
“The responsibility to unite rests on our shoulders,” she said. “This is our obligation. I intend to do everything to ensure that it happens.”
National Union leader Bezalel Smotrich revealed in an interview with KAN Radio that Peretz is not ruling out letting Shaked head the list. 
Polls have found that the religious Zionist public overwhelmingly prefers Shaked over Peretz.
Responding to a question about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trying to persuade Peretz not to let Shaked head the list, she said that “Israel is a democracy, and only the public will decide.”
The New Right will not ask for the Defense Ministry portfolio if it joins the next government as part of lessons learned from its unsuccessful campaign in April, Ayelet Shaked told The Jerusalem Post on a campaign stop in Efrat on Monday.
Shaked and Bennett came to the Dagan hill in Efrat to point out what they termed large-scale illegal construction in Area C by Palestinians. She said the next defense minister will have to deal with the problem immediately, but unlike in April, she said she would not demand the defense portfolio for Bennett.
“Over the past few years, the Palestinian Authority has funded taking over massive amounts of Area C,” she said. “The State of Israel is not investing enough in this. The next defense minister must take this as an important project, and handle it aggressively. He must tell the EU to stop helping the PA take over the land.”
Asked about the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, Shaked and Bennett said it too needs to be on the list, but Bennett emphasized that the list was a technical bloc that would break up after the election.
“A technical bloc can have in it different views,” Bennett said. “Think of it as a bus that just has to get past a crossing and then can be taken apart.”

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