Who is the power couple that nobody should write off? Shaked & Bennett

#17: Ayelet Shaked & Naftali Bennett

Head of the New Right Party Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Head of the New Right Party Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The year 5779 was a year to forget for Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett. When the year began, both were seen as popular and successful politicians and future candidates for prime minister.
What a difference a year makes.
Shaked and Bennett left their comfort zone in Bayit Yehudi, formed the New Right Party with great fanfare, watched it fall below the electoral threshold, got fired from their cabinet posts as justice and education minister, respectively, prepared for nonpolitical life, got a second chance, made a political comeback and finished seventh out of nine parties.
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There were those who interpreted the seven seats they won in the September election as an accomplishment in light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to destroy the party.
But the consensus among the activists who came to hear Shaked and Bennett speak the night of the election at Bar-Ilan University was that the results were a major disappointment.
There were those who thought Bennett would become defense minister if Netanyahu won 61 seats for his right-wing bloc, and that Shaked would return to the Justice Ministry. But it was not meant to be.
The Yamina Party Shaked led broke up against her will before the votes were even counted, leaving her with not much of an asset to provide the Likud in a political dowry if she decided to try to join the party.
But no one should write off this political power couple. Their political stamina has proven to be an asset and both are sly politicians who know how to forge unlikely alliances to advance their policies.
To move ahead though, all predictions are that both Bennett and Shaked will one day need to jump over to the Likud Party. For now, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have blocked that from happening. But, with Netanyahu’s days looking numbered, Shaked and Bennett might be welcomed into Likud and succeed once again, against all odds.