Yamina to officially split into two blocs

Yamina will still negotiate as one bloc in coalition talks.

October 6, 2019 04:13
1 minute read.
Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference.

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference.. (photo credit: EHUD AMITON/TPS)

The Yamina faction is set to break up into two on Sunday, with the New Right continuing alone and Bayit Yehudi and National Union remaining one bloc, the Knesset announced on Friday.

The split will be made official by the Knesset Arrangements Committee, led by Likud MK Miki Zohar, on Sunday afternoon.

However, Yamina will still negotiate as one bloc in coalition talks, a spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.

New Right will have three seats, belonging to Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and newcomer Matan Kahana; and Bayit Yehudi will have four MKs – Rafi Peretz, Bezalel Smotrich, Moti Yogev and Ofir Sofer, who became a lawmaker in April.

Peretz and Bennett, the respective leaders of Bayit Yehudi and New Right, announced that the bloc would split on election night last month, in light of its poorer-than-expected showing of only seven seats.

Shaked, who led the Yamina list in the election, tried to convince the parties to stay together, to no avail.

Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev also opposed the split, saying: “What the People of Israel need at this time, facing many challenges, is to unite all possible forces as one, whether the government or a religious-Zionist party. It’s not easy. Sometimes it requires containing things that are difficult to accept.”

Bennett was leader of Bayit Yehudi from 2012 to 2019, when he and political partner Shaked broke off from the party to form the New Right, meant to be a mixed religious and secular party.

The parties ran separately in April’s election, but New Right did not clear the 3.25% electoral threshold.

Bayit Yehudi was convinced to run together with New Right, in a list led by Shaked, even though she is secular and Bayit Yehudi is a religious-Zionist party, in light of Shaked’s popularity in the general public. But the party’s leadership was ultimately disappointed by the results of the September election, which gave them only one seat more than they had in April.

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