Likud laments lost seats due to split on Right; Otzma to run alone

“Shaked promised a large Republican party and we got a little Bayit Yehudi,” Ben-Gvir said. “Now I just hope they don’t let a left-wing government be formed.”

By
August 1, 2019 23:24
2 minute read.
Likud laments lost seats due to split on Right; Otzma to run alone

The far-right Otzma Yehudit Party registers for the September elections. (photo credit: DAVID DIMOLFETTA)

Last-minute efforts to unite the Right failed Thursday night, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party warning that a future right-wing coalition was now in danger.

 The far-right Otzma Yehudit and Noam parties submitted their own separate lists to the Central Elections Committee after talks with Ayelet Shaked’s United Right collapsed.

Netanyahu has reportedly said that Otzma was worth three seats that could have made the difference in the April election.

On Thursday night, Netanyahu tried to bring about the merger between Shaked Right and Otzma leader Itamar Ben-Gvir. In the hour before the 10 p.m. deadline to submit lists, Ben Gvir was repeatedly stopped by Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev in an effort to salvage a deal, but no compromise was reached.

Ben-Gvir said he blamed all the leaders of the list that rejected him: that he was offered the eighth slot on the list, that they were never willing to compromise, and that he felt “used” by them.

“Shaked promised a large Republican party and we got a little Bayit Yehudi,” Ben-Gvir said. “Now I just hope they don’t let a left-wing government be formed.”

Shaked rejected the accusations. “We made strong efforts in recent days to save as many votes on the Right as possible,” she said. “The public must understand that voting for the United Right is the only way to guarantee the formation of a nationalist government. If we won’t be large enough, a left-wing government will be formed.”

Likud MK Miki Zohar said that the parties’ failure to merge was “bad news” for the Likud.

“I hope it won’t lead to a left-wing government,” he said. “This decision is political suicide. The public will not forgive those who brought [Blue and White leaders Benny] Gantz and [Yair] Lapid. This will cause crying for generations. Now the public must understand that any vote not for Likud could bring about disaster for the state.”

Earlier in the day, as the talks with Otzma were still ongoing, former prime minister Ehud Barak said that “the suspect from Balfour Street [the prime minister’s official residence] is abandoning Israel to the hands of the Kahanists in order to save himself from prosecution. These are the people that encouraged the assassination of [prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin, and [mass murderer] Baruch Goldstein.”

To reach out to new sectors, Labor added Druze, Arab and Bedouin candidates to its list. Blue and White added a Russian-speaking immigrant at No. 41 on its list, and Shas added Ethiopian and French immigrant candidates.

David DiMolfetta contributed to this report.


Related Content

August 21, 2019
World military leaders visiting Israel for security briefing

By MARCY OSTER/JTA

Cookie Settings