Shaked Calls for 'Unity' Government, Opposes Boycott of Netanyahu

Emerging as a potential kingmaker in Israel's polls after her merger, Shaked sets out her red lines and expresses an aversion to a 'narrow government'

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Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked
Interior Minister Ayelet ShakedCredit: Olivier Fitoussi

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said in an interview on Saturday that she opposes the formation of a "narrow government," referring to a Benjamin Netanyahu-led coalition consisting of ultra-Orthodox parties and lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Speaking with Israel's Channel 12 News, Shaked referred to a "narrow government" as "not right," but reiterated her previous statements that she would not oppose sitting in a government with former prime minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu – claiming that any party that sells the idea of "unity" to the public but rejects Netanyahu is a "scam."

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The interior minister added that she "will not sit in a government that will fire the [sitting] attorney general," or one that will pass a law allowing a sitting prime minister to avoid criminal prosecution. Netanyahu, who is currently facing criminal charges, has sought to advance such a law.

Lawmaker Benny Begin of Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope party told Kan public broadcaster on Sunday that Shaked's run would siphon off right-wing votes for Netanyahu. Begin, who recently announced he would not run again for the Knesset, warned of the "real threat" to democracy posed by of another Netanyahu-led government.

Ayelet Shaked took the helm of a fraying Yamina party after ex-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced he would not contest the next round of elections in November, the country's fifth in three-and-a-half years.

With the party hovering beneath the quorum to enter the Knesset, Shaked announced that Yamina would join forces this week with the party of former Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, Derech Eretz.

Addressing the merger in the interview, Shaked said the list would be "50/50"

The latest poll found that the new ticket, Zionist Spirit, would scrape into Israel's parliament with four seats, and would secure opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu the majority that has eluded him.

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