Naphtali Bennett and Bezalel Smotrich on Tuesday reached an agreement on a joint run of National Union and the New Right in the March 2 elections. On Monday night, negotiations between Smotrich and Habayit Hayehudi chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz hit a wall (Smotrich – Peretz Alliance Dies Amid Violent Clashes, New Right Emerging as Sole Survivor), and Smotrich announced to his party members that he had approached Bennett and was trying to join forces with the New Right.
The co-chairs of the New Right party, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, stated following the signing of the new deal that it leaves the door open for Habayit Hayehudi as well, in an equitable and respectful manner. However, it is unlikely that Bennett, Shaked and Smotrich would be interested in inviting in Peretz’s recently acquired ally, Itamar Ben-Gvir, chairman of Otzma Yehudit. New Right is counting on attracting the liberal religious Zionists in Habayit Hayehudi, and one of the main reason these folks are leaving their party en masse is precisely the joint run with Otzma, which is associated with the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assembled the party leaders on Likud’s right to a meeting dedicated to pressuring Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to block the formation of a committee whose sole purpose would be to deny Netanyahu immunity from prosecution.
At this point, the Knesset legal counsel Eyal Yinon has ruled that a 65-MK majority is allowed to create and then convene a Knesset committee capable of debating Netanyahu’s request for immunity even without the Speaker’s approval. Edelstein, who has been fighting fiercely on his party chairman’s behalf, and even warned that with such a clearly politically motivated committee, “the Knesset would become a circus,” is now inclined to let the committee meet, having run out of moves to stop it.
Back to the new rightwing alliance:
With the deadline for submitting party lists on Wednesday at 10 PM, the most “real” slots on the New Right-National Union alliance go to:
New Right chairman, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett declared: “It’s a big day. We’ve reunited our home.”
Of curse, we also broke the home apart in the first place, last February, but that was two elections ago.
“We have led to great unity in the ideological right and religious Zionism – from Masortiim (Traditional Jews) to Hardalim (Haredi-Zionists), from knitted domes (yarmulkes) to the dome of the sky, from Tel Aviv to Kedumim,” Bennett said. But then, when he added: “I call on my friend Rabbi Rafi to join us immediately in one united party for the victory of the national camp,” he probably meant: but maybe don’t bring the Kahane folks along if that’s OK with you, Rabbi Rafi…