On Saturday, the leader of the Zionist Spirt party, Ayelet Shaked said that she had no intention of letting opposition party head Benjamin Netanyahu take control of the right wing, along with his extremist political allies.
There are plenty of right-wing competitors and Shaked, with her newly formed party, is trying to find a footing before the national elections in the next couple of months.
She said that she would not abandon the right-wing voters and give them just these extremist choices.
Yamina loses strength
Shaked’s Yamina party has lost a lot of its support in the previous year, as its former leader Naftali Bennett had formed a governing coalition with Arab and left-wing political partners.
Last month, Bennett had stepped down from his position of Israel’s prime minister after the coalition had crumbled.
He had handed the reigns of the Yamina party to Interior Minister and party colleague Ayelet Shaked and, as part of his agreement with Yair Lapid, he had given him the premiership.
Since then, polling has showed that Yamina may not be able to get enough votes in the upcoming elections that would allow it to be able to have representation in the Knesset.
Therefore, it order to enhance its fortunes, the Yamina party decided to unite with the right wing faction of Derech Eretz this week and the new alliance is termed Zionist Spirit.
The new party
On Saturday, Shaked appeared on several news programs to give interviews with the purpose of introducing the new party to the voters.
She pitched the party as an alternative for religious and right-wing voters who do not want to see Netanyahu return to power.
They are also not in favor of his allies, which include firebrand Miri Regev and the Likud party’s far-right allies as well.
The most notorious are Itamar Ben Gvir, the extremist, and belonging to the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich.
Shaked said that 80 mandates put themselves in the right-wing category out of the 120 seats in the Knesset.
She said that the right did not just include Ben Gvir, Smotrich, Benjamin Netanyahu and Miri Regev. She added that Smotrich’s statements had been disgusting.
She said that he had told her, Bennett and their colleagues to not go into a synagogue. She also admitted that due to the poor polling of her party, she had been told to drop out, but had refused to do so.
Not giving up
Shaked said that she had no intention of giving up and limiting the choices for right wing voters. She stated that she would continue campaigning.
She stated that the public was searching for a Zionist spirt and they want to have a proper government that is not dependent on the whims of Netanyahu, or the hate machine of Smotrich.
However, she did not rule out the possibility of forming a coalition with Netanyahu and said that their goal was to establish a broad national government, including the Likud party, expected to be the biggest one after elections are over.