Will Shaked, Hendel and Kahana join forces for election?

A Shaked/Hendel partnership would give Yamina a significant boost ahead of the November 1 election. 

 Left to right: Yoaz Hendel, Ayelet Shaked, Matan Kahana (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90/Edited by Jerusalem Post Staff)
Left to right: Yoaz Hendel, Ayelet Shaked, Matan Kahana
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90/Edited by Jerusalem Post Staff)

With the decision to keep him off the new merged list of Blue and White and New Hope, Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel is in talks with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked about joining forces in the upcoming election.

The possible partnership would give Yamina — which according to weekend polls did not cross the electoral threshold — a significant boost ahead of the November 1 election. 

Hendel is also in talks with Deputy Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana, seen as an asset on the Right whose participation in the list would also help it gain momentum. 

Hendel and Kahana

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar decided to keep Hendel and his political ally MK Zvika Hauser off their new list for two reasons: Hendel has been at odds with the ultra-Orthodox parties over his ministry’s pursuit of reforms to the “Kosher Cellphone” market. In addition, Gantz holds a grudge against Hendel and Hauser for vetoing his desire to rely on the Arab Joint List after the second of the recent four elections as a way to become prime minister. 

Hendel and Kahana both come from the religious-Zionist camp and are seen as moderate members who have pushed through a number of significant reforms over the last year. Hendel oversaw the installation of fiber optic fast internet cables throughout the country leading to a significant upgrade in Israeli telecommunication infrastructure as well as spearheading the privatization of the country’s postal service. 

 Ayelet Shaked, Minister of the Interior, at a cabinet meeting on July 10th 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Ayelet Shaked, Minister of the Interior, at a cabinet meeting on July 10th 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Kahana made a name for himself by installing women on municipal religious councils as well as a substantive reform that ended the Chief Rabbinate’s long-held monopoly over the kashrut supervision industry and enabled independent kashrut authorities to issue kashrut licenses to restaurants and other food businesses.