(June 13, 2019 / JNS) Zehut Party leader Moshe Feiglin said Wednesday that he is considering entering a partnership with New Right leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked for Israel’s Sept. 17 elections, but isn’t interested in such a partnership with the United Right Party.
Feiglin wrote on Facebook that his party is “making a sincere effort to join a technical bloc with Bennett and/or Shaked, but is not interested in joining with [United Right leaders] Rabbi [Rafi] Peretz and MK [Bezalel] Smotrich.”
“The advantage of the politics of the New Right is its openness to the secular,” he wrote. “It does not treat it paternalistically while shirking responsibility for daily life. The New Right has shed partisanship. It appeals to the entire nation, and if you are not a hard leftist, it does not antagonize you.”
“Zehut does not consider itself part of religious Zionism or any other sector,” added Feiglin.
Zehut fell approximately 30,000 votes short of the electoral threshold necessary to enter the Knesset in the April 9 national election earlier this year, with New Right missing the cutoff by just 1,500 votes. The failure of the two parties was considered a major waste of right-wing votes, and as one of the reasons Likud Party leader Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to secure a viable coalition.
Shaked has not yet announced her plans, though an initial meeting with Bennett in an attempt to reboot New Right was reportedly unsuccessful. Shaked subsequently attempted to enter the Likud Party, but was thwarted by Netanyahu.
Both Bennett and Shaked were rising stars in the Jewish Home Party prior to the April 9 election, before breaking away to start New Right, which they said would appeal to both religious and secular Israeli nationalists.