Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked sees herself eventually running for prime minister, she hinted in an interview with The Jerusalem Post at the Knesset on Tuesday.
Shaked was reacting to the Post’s exclusive story about Australian diamond tycoon Rabbi Joseph Gutnick endorsing her to replace Netanyahu, after he helped him win his first election for prime minister in 1996.
Gutnick funded a last-minute campaign for Netanyahu that helped him defeat incumbent Shimon Peres, and has told Shaked he would support her financially, within the limits of Israeli law, when Netanyahu leaves office, but the time has come to leave her Bayit Yehudi party for Likud.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked meets members of the Jewish community in Addis Ababa (Courtesy)
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“I am very thankful to Gutnick for the compliment,” Shaked said. “Right now, we have a prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu, and after him, [Bayit Yehudi leader] Naftali Bennett is most fit. But in the distant future, everything is open.”
Shaked said she “loves her party,” and earlier, in a radio interview, she said she would not surprise Bennett by leaving.
Gutnick said he was not disappointed by what Shaked said.
“I am extremely pleased to hear she wants to be prime minister in the future,” he said. “The rest is destiny and divine providence (hashgacha pratit
Former coalition chairman David Bitan, who started the rumors about Shaked when he said that if she ran in Likud, she could win the second slot on the party’s Knesset slate
after Netanyahu, told the Post
Tuesday that he was not sent by Netanyahu to cause problems in Bayit Yehudi.
“I was just giving her an innocent compliment, and there was nothing behind it,” Bitan said.
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