Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
MKs Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich on their phones in the Knesset plenum, June 3, 2019.

Reshet Bet radio on Wednesday morning reported that initial understandings had been reached in preparation for a joint run in the upcoming elections of the Rightwing Union faction, comprised of Habayit Hayehudi, headed by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the National Union headed by Bezalel Smotrich, to include the New Right party which may be headed by Naftali Bennett with Ayelet Shaked or without her.

According to the emerging agreement, Reshet Bet said, the joint run would be through a technical slate, which would allow the different parties to split up again after the elections, should they so desire.

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Now there’s a message that offers the voter a sense of loyalty and ideological cohesiveness – vote for us because we plan to become something entirely different as soon as we get into the Knesset…

According to Reshet Bet, it was agreed that Bennett would not lead the faction, nor would he be placed in the first spot – after all, he broke the party only a few months ago and this arrangement is his life saver, having failed to cross the threshold vote on April 9.

The New Right would receive between two and three spots out of the first eight, with the proviso that Bennett cannot veto a deal with Otzma Yehudit, followers of the legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d.

The news website Kipa revealed Wednesday morning that Rightwing Union chairman Rafi Peretz invited Shaked and Bennett to take over the second and third slot without consulting first with Smotrich, who would be pushed to fourth place.

Manners?

Sources close to Shaked explained that despite having failed to make it into the last Knesset, she “receives many offers from various sources every day” and when she makes a decision she would announce it. Bennett is yet to respond.

Before it became known that his partner in the faction decided to drop him to fourth place, Smotrich told Kipa that the different rightwing parties must connect. “We have to go with everyone together,” he said, adding nobly, “I’ll be the first one to give up (his spot, presumably – DI) even now, so that this connection would happen, even though each person is close to himself and everyone loves to wrap their personal interest in [the cover of] ideals, I pledge to put aside as a last resort my personal interest.”

So please move down to fourth place, noble fellow…

Rabbi Peretz admitted to negotiating with the leaders of the New Right party. “I do not hold a grudge against anyone,” he declared magnanimously, and added that “there’s room enough under the Habayit Hayehudi umbrella for the entire spectrum of religious Zionism.”

Of course, unlike Smotrich, who gave his life’s blood over many years for the faction, Peretz was invited to come in and eat from the fruits of someone else’s labor.

And so, another chapter rolls in the telenovela that began in 1992, on how the Israeli Zionist right unites itself into smaller and smaller splinter groups, writing itself out of history time and again. Thank God, similar things are happening on the left, too, or we’d go completely crazy…

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