Ahead of the elections on November 1st and in the last stretch of campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to go hard after Ayelet Shaked and her Jewish Home party.
According to a report on Sunday, the leader of the opposition wants to make sure that she is not able to clear the electoral threshold.
The reports said that Netanyahu does not want Shaked to have even a single right-wing voter. It is expected that an all-out assault would be launched by the Likud party on the interior minister.
Their goal is to ensure that she is not left with any support on the right. Netanyahu has been trying to secure majority in the Knesset with 61 seats and Shaked has proven to be a conundrum for him.
The former premier wants to return to power and the interior minister has stated that she will support him as prime minister, but she and her Jewish Home party are below the electoral threshold in polls.
Nonetheless, she has not backed out and Likud is worried that if her party does get knocked out, it would mean vital right-wing votes would go to waste.
Therefore, they have been debating whether they should assist her in passing the threshold, or should deprive her of the support. It appears the party is now decided on doing the latter.
Likud sources had said earlier this month that Netanyahu’s efforts to sideline Jewish Home could come back to haunt him because she could be the only chance the opposition leader has for securing majority in the Knesset.
Several unnamed Likud party sources said that Netanyahu was making mistakes in his political campaigns and this included sidelining Shaked.
The interior minister herself has stated that she is the only chance that Netanyahu has to regain power in the country.
The right-wing religious bloc led by Netanyahu comprises of Likud, United Torah Judaism, Shash and Otzma Yehudit-Religious Zionism.
It is currently polling at 59 to 60 seats, which means that one or two seats are likely going to determine the election.
Since last year, Shaked had served as the interior minister in a broad yet short-lived government coalition that was formed by head of the Yamina party, Naftali Bennett.
Shaked had been Bennett’s number two and he handed her control of the party after he decided to take a break from politics when the coalition collapsed.
Bennett is currently serving as the alternate prime minister to Yair Lapid’s prime minister in the caretaker government, in accordance with their coalition agreement.
Shaked had formed the Zionist Spirit alliance by teaming up with Derech Eretz, but the team up had been brief.
There had been disagreements over Shaked’s willingness to be part of a Netanyahu-led government, which saw the alliance collapse in mid-September.
Since then, she has formed the Jewish Home party and asked for forgiveness for being a part of last year’s broad coalition. She has also pledged to support Netanyahu as the next premier.