“New Right” party takes off, launches campaign for Likud disaffected

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, 42, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, 46, announced Saturday, Dec. 29, the establishment of their “New Right” party to run for election on April 9. They are breaking away from their own nationalist-religious “Jewish Home” party and aspire to bring non-religious and religious groups together under one right-wing political roof as equal partners. Both ministers declared that Jewish Home, after its many achievements as partners in the government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, had lost its influence and reached the end of the road in its present form. Bennett said:’ “We – and the right – must no longer be held captive by one man.”

The two ministers see their chance to capitalize on the signs that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may be suffering from voter fatigue.  After ten years in power, popular commitment to his leadership is cracking under a combination of untoward circumstances. The relentless media hunt over corruption probes against him, whether true or false, is having an effect. While most people still support his nonconfrontational policy of “containment” against Iran, Hizballah and Hamas, they think Hamas is being allowed to get away with too much – 10 months of unbridled mob attacks on Israeli soldiers guarding their country’s border with Gaza, are being rewarded with millions of ill-gotten Qatarii dollars. The IDF operation against Hizballah’s cross-border tunnels did not catch the popular attention as an effective counter-terror step.   

The performance of Likud ministers under Netanyahu’s leaders is, moreover, sagging. Public Security Minister Gilead Erdan has failed to fill the post of police commissioner, for example, and Transport Minister Israel Katz’s new railway service is in chaos.

A glimmer of hope for the disappointed Likudniks was offered last week by the first new party of the current campaign that was founded by former chief of staff Benny Gantz. He and Moshe Ya’alon, another former chief of staff and ex-defense minister, who launches his party this week, have agreed to run for election on one list. But then Gantz was seen surrounding himself with the campaign strategists who served past left-wing leaders like Shimon Peres.

The new groupings thrown up so far are all jockeying for the right-of-center vote and Likud dropouts. Unless Netanyahu regains his touch – as he has before – they will all chip away at Likud’s following and other right-wing entities, such as former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Shelanu – as well as at each other.. The center-right floating vote will have a new option, at the expense of the former white hope Yair Lapid’s opposition party and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu.

While treading on each other’s toes, the new parties bring fragmentation, but also a new sense of vibrancy to a long ossified political landscape dominated unchallenged by one man. But Bibi is still the quintessential political survivor.

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7 thoughts on ““New Right” party takes off, launches campaign for Likud disaffected

  • Dec 29, 2018 @ 23:08 at 23:08
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    Whether in the upcoming election or farther in the future, Benjamin Netanyahu will one day no longer be Prime Minister.
    That will be a sad day for Israel, which has prospered and been secure under PM Netanyahu.

    Notice I made a point without filth and depravity.

  • Dec 30, 2018 @ 0:02 at 0:02
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    Good time for Bennett to be prime minister. Netanyahu has lost the magic touch

    • Dec 30, 2018 @ 1:18 at 1:18
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      Blah, youngsters with smartphones! What could they do much better?

  • Dec 30, 2018 @ 5:57 at 5:57
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    Excessive democracy and above all the tyranny of the majority is detrimental for the day to day life on the people. Why should they be forced to make decisions or even worst: to vote (!) when Israel does not have a Mount Rushmore? Or a king?

    King David rightfully said “Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth-leaders push for position, demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks….”

    • Dec 30, 2018 @ 11:29 at 11:29
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      King would be against Israel’s constitution, at least for now.
      Please do not make jokes in this matter, Israel is the only and oldest true democracy in the whole Middle Est, a real sample for fellow Arabs, if they will ever consider to take the way of the civilized people.

  • Dec 30, 2018 @ 11:20 at 11:20
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    Almost half or more of the people in Area C of West Bank firmly desire union with Israel, this is a serious matter, and should be treated in priority.

    About the Areas A and B a progression towards peace could be negotiated in the next rounds of OSLO 3 and 4.

  • Dec 30, 2018 @ 12:25 at 12:25
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    The other alternative, just a very short distance away to the north, works as follows (modeled after the old Soviet Union system of politics):

    In Syria, you have a choice: you can vote for Basher Assad…………..or, you can vote for Basher Assad……..your choice!

    And, BTW, when was the last time something called an “election” was held in the so-called “Palestinian Authority” ????

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