Shaked vows to recommend Netanyahu for prime minister 'at the moment'

United Right leader Ayelet Shaked said her party would recommend Netanyahu because he is currently the leader of the right wing bloc.

August 5, 2019 00:31
2 minute read.
Shaked vows to recommend Netanyahu for prime minister 'at the moment'

Ayelet Shaked . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

United Right leader Ayelet Shaked caveated her support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government in an interview on Sunday, saying that her party would recommend Netanyahu because he is the leader of the right-wing bloc “at the moment.”

She also attacked Netanyahu’s right-wing credentials, saying that Netanyahu had supported the establishment of a Palestinian state – considered anathema to the Right – during his “Bar-Ilan speech” in 2009, and agreed to release “a thousand terrorists” in the deal to free captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in 2011.

Asked during an interview for Ynet whom United Right would recommend to the president to form the next government, Shaked said “we will recommend the right-wing candidate for prime minister, which today looks like Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Current polling has shown that there will not be a right-wing majority after the next elections. The Blue and White Party has ruled out joining a government headed by Netanyahu, and others have said they will not vote to dissolve the Knesset again for a third round of elections.

This puts Netanyahu in greater political jeopardy since the country would find itself at a political stalemate should this scenario transpire.

Shaked’s fellow United Right leader, Naftali Bennett, said more explicitly that the party would recommend Netanyahu for prime minister after the September election during an interview with Army Radio, but equally insisted that the right-wing party would vote against dissolving the Knesset if Netanyahu fails to form a government again.

He also took aim at his long-time political foe Avigdor Liberman on Sunday, claiming that the Yisrael Beytenu leader would help establish a left-wing government.

“Liberman says he will form a government with the Left,” Bennett said, speaking on Army Radio Sunday morning. “Anyone who wants right-wing policies should keep away from Liberman. I’ll remind you, he also promised to take out [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh within 48 hours [of becoming defense minister]. If it looks left-wing and speaks like the left-wing, it is left-wing.”

Bennett further accused Liberman of seeking the establishment of a Palestinian state, adding that he had not achieved anything during his political career.

The former education minister also denied having torpedoed a unity deal between United Right and the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, as alleged by Otzma leader Itamar Ben-Gvir.

“An offer was made to Otzma Yehudit and they refused,” Bennett said. “That is the simple truth. We gave them an offer which would have given them two obtainable spots [on the electoral list]. They chose not to enter, and that is their right.”

He also denied allegations made by Ben-Gvir that it had been Bennett who thwarted the deal, while Ben-Gvir also claimed that Blue and White leader Yair Lapid had pressured Bennett into blocking the agreement, recalling the so-called “brothers pact” between Bennett and Lapid in the 2013 government, when the two had been allies.

Bennett described the claims as “lies and falsehoods” and said he would sue Ben-Gvir for slander if he continued to repeat it.

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