Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90
MK Betzalel Smotrich and Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, April 6, 2019

Former Prime Minister and Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) invited Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionists) and Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) to his home in Caesarea on Friday before Shabbat to force the two party leaders to negotiate once-and-for-all, face-to-face and reach an agreement to run together.

Netanyahu’s efforts were successful and Smotrich and Ben-Gvir agreed to unite. Smotrich will get slots 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 on the combined list. Ben-Gvir will get 2, 5, 7, 9, and 10. Smotrich will get the funding for #10.


Slot #11 will reportedly be offered to a representative from the Noam faction. MK Avi Moaz from Noam says there are currently no ongoing discussions or negotiations with Noam, but they are open to here all options on the table.

On their voting booth slip, both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir’s name will be listed.

The Likud had polls showing one or the other party might not pass the electoral threshold and that could be the difference between a rightwing or a leftwing coalition.

Tzvi Sukkot, the former chief of staff for Otzma Yehudit, but who is running with Religious Zionists, was pushed down to position #12. His response was that he will happy to sit at home if it means that the Right will in the elections, but he will be working hard to bring them 12 mandates.

Despite his personal efforts to unite the two parties, Netanyahu declined to be photographed with the happy couple, presumably out of concern his political opponents would use the picture with Ben-Gvir against him in their political campaigns.

Ben-Gvir released a statement blessing the agreement and declared that in the next Knesset there will be at least 5 Ben-Gvirs.

Smotrich blessed “Shehechiyanu” on the new deal.

Amichai Chikli reportedly decided against joining Religious Zionism due to significant religious worldviews. Moran Azulai reports that Chikli was given the 14th spot on the Likud list.


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