New Right courting former Zehut candidates to add to electoral list

New Right leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
New Right leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett
The New Right Party is on the lookout for some new candidates to add to its electoral list for the upcoming elections who will boost its popularity, including some former members of the Zehut Party.
New Right will possibly add one or two new candidates to its recent electoral lists, and may make some appointments based on the ability of such candidates to boost the party’s electoral appeal in specific sectors of the population.
To that end, party coleader and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett met in recent days with figures in the newly established New Liberal Party, including Libby Molad and Refael Minnes, who were both candidates in the Zehut Party’s run for Knesset in the April elections.
Zehut took 2.74% of the vote in that election, not enough to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold but enough to garner 118,000 votes, worth some three Knesset seats.
Many of those ballot slips were likely cast by politically right-wing, economically liberal voters who could see New Right as a reasonable alternative to Zehut in the upcoming election, given the party’s right-wing approach to diplomatic and security affairs and its economic, free market liberalism.
Sources in New Right confirmed that there have been contacts between Bennett and the former Zehut figures, but said that any agreement would see the addition of only one individual in an obtainable spot on the party list, and that any notion that New Right would merge with another party is not realistic.
The source added that no decision on new candidates for its electoral list is imminent, and that New Right is looking at potential new candidates from a spectrum of population sectors and smaller parties.
Such candidates could come from the Anglophone, French or Ethiopian communities, or from the community of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Additionally, the order of candidates on the New Right electoral list could be altered from its previous iterations, with the possibility that some candidates will be moved up or down.
Molad said in response to the initial report about the contacts with New Right that the New Liberal Party is looking at “different connections with parties whose values overlap with the liberal values we bring with us,” adding that New Right is “certainly a worthwhile option,” but that “when we reach this river we will cross it.”