URP head says Shaked should get 2nd spot; Bennett, Feiglin join Right bloc

“If there will be a joint list of right-wing parties, I need to be at the top, because I bring the most mandates,” Shaked was quoted by KAN as telling Bayit Yehudi activists last week.

June 20, 2019 23:48
3 minute read.
Ayelet Shaked hosts a goodbye party as she leaves her position as Justice Minister.

Ayelet Shaked hosts a goodbye party as she leaves her position as Justice Minister.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The head of the Union of Right-Wing Parties Rabbi Rafi Peretz called on Ayelet Shaked to join a unified Right party - and take the second spot on that list, behind him.

In an interview with Army Radio on Thursday, Peretz said that he intends to speak to the former justice minister, adding that he is confident that together they will find a respectable and appropriate solution, namely her being his number two.

He also called on former education minister Naftali Bennett, Zehut Leader Moshe Feiglin and the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party to join a broad right-wing party, which will then recommend the Likud with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the governing party.

Shaked and Bennett ran jointly as the New Right Party in the April elections, but narrowly missed the needed votes to pass the electoral threshold to enter the Knesset.

In an interview at the Jerusalem Post Conference on Sunday, Shaked said that she was weighing all her options, including joining the Likud.

“I am not ruling out anything that can help create a big Right bloc,” Shaked said.

While she didn't confirm that she would run in the September 17 elections, only saying that she would “probably” run, Naftali Bennett already announced that he will lead his New Right Party in the elections, but implied that he was not eager to join the URP.

But it is unclear whether Shaked would be satisfied with the second spot of Peretz's Right list.

“If there will be a joint list of right-wing parties, I need to be at the top, because I bring the most mandates,” Shaked was quoted by KAN as telling Bayit Yehudi activists last week.

Moshe Feiglin also failed to pass the electoral threshold in the April elections, after polls indicated he would receive as many as seven seats in the weeks leading up to the vote.

He categorically ruled out running on a joint list with the Union of Right-Wing Parties last week, saying that Zehut was ideologically incompatible with what he described as the overtly sectoral, religious-Zionist ticket, and that doing so would chase away many of Zehut’s voters. He did leave open the possibility to merge with Bennett's New Right though, praising it for its effort in crossing sectoral boundaries and seeking national leadership instead of pursuing a narrower, religious-Zionist agenda.

Peretz also made comments regarding his views on what has become the controversial issue of construction and maintenance work on transport infrastructure on Shabbat, going so far as to call for rabbinic authorities to have the final say on whether or not such work be carried out.

Peretz said that the status-quo on religion and state matters regarding public desecration of Shabbat needs to be preserved “very strictly” and that construction work on Shabbat constituted a violation of the status quo.

Construction work on transport infrastructure on Shabbat has in fact gone on for many years so as not to cause heavy traffic jams during the week. In recent years, the scale of such construction has increased however, while haredi activist groups and online media have forced haredi politicians to object more vociferously.

“It’s unthinkable for it to be broken. This construction week is a violation of the status quo. It is causing [people] to work day and night instead of resting on Shabbat,” he told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper on Thursday.

“I think there needs to be involvement of a religious-Jewish judicial authority which will examine these things very closely,” said Peretz.

“It will decide about carrying out these construction works. And if there is no reason connected to concerns over danger to life it won’t happen.”

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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