Yamina solidly passes threshold, Otzma stumbles

While the results are subject to change, it is safe to say that the party is in the Knesset. It is a significant victory for Shaked and Bennet.

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference. (photo credit: EHUD AMITON/TPS)
Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference.
(photo credit: EHUD AMITON/TPS)
The second time’s the charm for former ministers Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennet as their Yamina Party received somewhere between 6 to 8 mandates, according to initial poll results.
While the results are subject to change, it is safe to say that the party is in the Knesset. It is a significant victory for Shaked and Bennet.
Just five months ago, it appeared as if they were stepping off the political stage as their New Right Party, did not receive enough support to pass the threshold and make it into the Knesset.
He remained optimistic throughout the day, but by late afternoon, he warned against electoral fraud after receiving reports that slips from his party had been stolen.
The Yamina leaders said they would immediately split back into two factions; Bayit Yehudi/National Union led by Rafi Peretz and New Right, led by Shaked and Bennett.
Throughout the day, they canvased for voters hitting the pavement and the beach and by sending out urgent audio and video messages, warning that only their party could ensure that Netanyahu would form a right-wing government.
They also played on their loss from the last election, noting that this could be a repeated defeat if no one came out. They were particularly concerned by reports that voter turnout in Judea and Samaria was lower than in the last election.
“I urge all Anglos in Israel and go out right now and vote Tet Bet [the letters on the Yamina’s ballot], so we don’t lose the right-wing government, so we don’t lose Eretz Yisrael,” Bennet said in an audio message he sent out at 8:35 p.m. “You can make the difference. It is going to boil down to hundreds of votes.”
In a video they put out in the afternoon, Shaked said that her party was on its way to “disaster” unless people got out the vote.
“We were already in this movie,” she added. “I don’t want to hear the tears and sorrow later on.”
On a beach in Netanya, Shaked recruited a French-speaking supporter to urge French speakers on the beach to vote for her on Tuesday.
Joking that “it is actually tempting to stay here,” she warned this is “a war for our home” and took pictures with beach-goers who said that they voted for her.
Shaked went up to the lifeguard post to address the public and urged them to vote for the Right, and made a point to repeat the message in French for the benefit of French speakers who may not understand Hebrew.
“We need every vote,” she said to the voters, “get out there and vote.”
She began her day in Tel Aviv, where she cast her ballot. “We are at war, there are 30% that are debating [whether to vote] for us or for the Likud today,” said Shaked to activists. “We must work hard at the polling stations and convince every right-wing person to vote Tet Bet. The situation is difficult because of the gevalt attack by [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, [who] is trying to harm us.
“We need to explain to every uncertain person at the entrance to the polling station, why [to vote for] Yamina and not Likud. Why a vote for Likud can bring about a left-wing government and only a vote for Yamina will [lead to] a right-wing government. To every uncertain person that wants to vote for Otzma [Yehudit]: explain that they will not pass the election threshold. It’s a vote for the Left. This is our war from now at the polling stations.”
In Hadera, she called on the ‘wonderful women of Israel’ to give her power.
Bennett, who is No. 4 on the Yamina list, cast his vote in Ra’anana. He told The Jerusalem Post, “We are very worried about the future of our country right now.” He specifically referenced the pending publication of the peace plan by US President Donald Trump. “We suspect Trump’s plan and therefore, in order to avoid this, we need a strong Yamina [Party].”
THE OTHER right-wing party, Otzma, headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir, failed to make it into the Knesset. He began his day by voting in Kiryat Arba with his wife Ayala.
“We are waking up to a new morning in the State of Israel, with God’s will, a morning of success and victory,” Ben-Gvir said. “We could have a historic achievement today. In spite of the fake news and fabrications that other right-wing parties distributed against Otzma, the public understands that the party is instrumental to ensuring Jewish power.
He said he had no intention of attacking the other right-wing parties. His message was simple, vote Otzma.
“If we pass the threshold and enter the Knesset, there will be a right-wing government,” Ben-Gvir said.
He added that, “a right-wing government is in danger. Without us, Netanyahu does not have a right-wing government and has no chance of getting 61 right-wing MKs.”
It is for this reason, he said that even those who disagree with Otzma must vote for it.
Among those who spoke out against the party during the day was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who urged right-wing voters to support Likud.
Ben-Gvir said he believed the public could see through Netanyahu’s rhetoric and didn’t buy his “zig-zags.” Netanyahu doesn’t want Otzma to pass the threshold so he can be free to form a government with the Labor Party, Ben-Gvir charged.
He took Netanyahu’s words as proof that his party would pass the threshold – if not, the prime minister would not waste time attacking it, he said.
“We value Netanyahu and want to keep him on the Right – but the Right will only with Otzma,” he said.