Far-right Parties Set to Seal Agreement to Run Together in Upcoming Israeli Election

Kahanist lawmaker and leader of the Otzma Yehudit party Itamar Ben-Gvir reportedly reached an agreement with head of Religious Zionism's Bezalel Smotrich, to join forces and form a new list in the November elections. Ben Gvir's party will hold four of the top ten spots in the newly formed list

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Far-right MKs Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, in East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, in 2021.
Far-right MKs Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, in East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, in 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Israel's two leading far-right parties, Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionism, are set to put aside their minor ideological differences and join forces in the upcoming elections in November.

Sources tell Haaretz the two lawmakers agreed that Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party, will receive the second spot on the new list, and three more spots will be reserved for other members of his current party.

The agreement also stipulates that the seventh spot in the new list, which according to polls may gain as many as ten seats, will be reserved for a Masorti candidate — a loosely defined term for moderately religious Jews, distinct from ultra-Orthodoxy, generally associated with Mizrahi Jews — from the country's periphery. The move signals an attempt by the far-right settlement movement, whose base and leadership are dominated by Ashkenazi Jews, to appeal to a wider audience in the next elections.

According to the agreement, Ben-Gvir will co-head the list along with Smotrich, who will hold the first spot. Otzma Yehudit will reportedly also hod the fifth, ninth and tenth spots. Smotrich's Religious Zionism is set to hold its primaries at the end of this month.

In a message released in response to the media reports, Itamar Ben-Gvir called on MK Smotrich to "join him and sign the agreement tonight".

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