Right-wing Parties Say Won't Run on Joint List With Netanyahu's Likud

Sources have said Netanyahu wants to run in next election as part of a 'broad platform' of right-wing parties, but Yisrael Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi say they won't join it.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman at a cabinet meeting, April 2013.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman at a cabinet meeting, April 2013.Credit: Emil Salman
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Right-wing parties Yisrael Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi announced on Monday that they will not ally with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to run on a joint list in the next general election.

The statements were made after Finance Minister Yair Lapid rejected Netanyahu's ultimatum for preserving the governing coalition, paving the way for an early election.

Sources close to Netanyahu have stated in recent months that he wants to run as part of a "broad platform" of right-wing parties, rather than as an independent party, in the hope of garnering enough votes to secure him another term as prime minister.

But Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked, who chairs the Habayit Hayehudi faction, said in interviews on Monday morning that her party has no intention of joining Likud.

"There is no talk of running together," she said.

Yisrael Beiteinu had made it clear it wouldn't cooperate with Likud in the next election as soon as the partnership between the two parties was dissolved over the summer. MK Faina Kirshenbaum reiterated the decision on Monday, saying that "We will certainly run independently."

A senior Likud official told Haaretz that the party may not have to join a bloc or unite with another party to succeed in the election.

"Netanyahu certainly wants it, but findings on the matter aren't definitive," he said. "In fact, we have found that an independent candidacy may draw in more voters. We have learned a lesson from [our] union with Lieberman in the previous election, which did not garner the number of Knesset seats we wanted."

Tactical assessments aside, Netanyahu will find it difficult to form a union with another faction due to staunch opposition from the Likud Central Committee. Members of the party have decried the alliance with Yisrael Beiteinu ahead of the last election, and have protested when the latter party received Knesset seats and key government roles at Likud's expense.

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