(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
There will be a party to the right of Bayit Yehudi that is running in the March 17 election, right-wing activists Itamar Ben- Gvir and Baruch Marzel decided over the weekend.
In last year’s election, their Strong Israel party (Otzma LeYisrael) narrowly failed to cross the 2 percent threshold. Now that the threshold has been raised to 3.25%, the party’s council decided to run under the name the Jewish Strength party (Otzma Yehudit).
The party is to be led by former MK Michael Ben-Ari. Ben- Gvir said he would not rule out joining together with other parties on a joint list as long as Ben- Ari is given a realistic slot to enter the Knesset.
Running together with breakoffs from Bayit Yehudi or Shas are being considered. But Ben- Gvir said running together with Bayit Yehudi was not an option.
“Bennett is not right-wing,” Ben-Gvir said. “He sat in a government that froze construction in Judea and Samaria and released terrorists. He even said 99% of Arabs are loyal to Israel. His ideology is clearly not ours.”
Former MK Arye Eldad’s Hatikva party is to decide on January 1 whether to run with the Jewish Strength. Eldad said that due to the higher threshold, he would recommend against it, unless it is part of a larger combination of parties like the former National Union.
“We did not pass the threshold when it was lower than it is now, and I tend to not repeat mistakes,” Eldad said.
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“We got to Rabin, we will get to the government,” Aviv Mizrahi suggested, in a reference to the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
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