Bennett and Shaked announce break away from Jewish Home, establish new party

December 31, 2018 by Yona Schnitzer - TPS
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Jewish Home Chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, along with his party colleague Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked have announced Saturday, that they will be leaving the party in order to establish a new right-wing party comprised of both religious and secular Israelis – “The New Right.

Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS on 30 December 2018

“The people of Israel must unite,” said Bennett at a joint press conference, “Secular, traditional, religious and Ultra-Orthodox – we are all one people.

Bennett accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of thinking he “has the Religious-Zionists in his pocket,” and that they will always blindly follow him.

“If in the past we were able to prevent the release of terrorists, or the advancement of the Palestinian State, today, we have lost our ability to affect (change),” said Bennett,” Prime Minister Netanyahu figured he has the Religious-Zionists in his pocket, and that they will always go with him. Just a few weeks ago, [Netanyahu] explained that we are in the midst of a national emergency that requires sacrifice, and that is why we cannot go to elections over the coming year,” he continued, “[Netanyahu] sent emissaries to rabbis to convey the message, and the Religious-Zionists stood to attention – we were forced to stand down and stay in the government despite what we believe.”

“Four weeks later,” Bennett continued, “when the Prime Minister decided that elections are beneficial to him, he forgot his ‘blood, sweat and tears’ speech and announced elections. We have lost the ability to have any actual influence.”

In response to their departure, the Jewish Home wished Bennett and Shaked luck “in leading the Right”, adding that the two are “slated for greatness.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party was less gracious, issuing a statement urging that anyone “that wants the next government to be a right-wing government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, and not a left-wing government headed by Lapid, Gantz or Gabay, must vote only for the Likud headed by Netanyahu.”

Culture Minister Miri Regev called the move a “spin on the back of Religious-Zionism,” as well as an abandonment of their political house. “I call upon members of the Religious-Zionist movement, come to the true right party,” said Regev, calling upon Bennett’s constituents to join the Likud.

“Bennett and Shaked, in a subversive and opportunistic move, are splitting votes and are hurting the right,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin,” adding that “their wild attack against the Prime Minister is opposed to the interests of the right, and can only serve the left.”

Kulanu party Chairman Moshe Kahlon called the newly announced party “another sectoral party.”

“Over their last term, Bennett and Shaked acted as a sectoral union that sought out the dividing and polarizing [issues] in Israeli society,” said Kahlon. “Israel needs a party that puts Israel in the centre, that fights for every Israeli no matter who.”


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