Ex-Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Says She Is Considering Running in Upcoming Israeli Election

Shaked says she doesn't rule out rejoining her former party Habayit Hayehudi, but will 'absolutely not' try to return to politics with Naftali Bennett

Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at a ceremony in Tel Aviv, June 16, 2019.
Ofer Vaknin

Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Sunday that she is likely to run in Israel's upcoming election. 

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post's annual conference, Shaked said that she doesn't rule out a merger with her former Habayit Hayehudi party, which she left along with Naftali Bennett in order to set up the Hayamin Hehadash party. The latter did not pass the electoral threshold in the April 9 election, leaving Shaked outside the Knesset. Last month, Netanyahu fired her and Bennett from their positions

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"I'm not ruling out something that will help create a large right-wing bloc," she said. "This election is crucial, there is an immense challenge for the right-wing camp," she added. "We must act responsibly. I will make a decision based on that, and I hope that all the right-wing leaders will do so as well," Shaked added. 

Asked whether she would run again alongside her former political partner Bennett, Shaked answered resolutely: "Absolutely not." 

"We are ideological partners, we revolutionized Israeli politics. When we entered the Knesset it was clear for everyone that a Palestinian state will be founded. But now everyone talks about annexation," she said, implying that the approach that West Bank lands should be annexed had become more popular among Israeli politicians thanks to the hard line she and Bennett led on the matter. 

"When we talk about applying Israeli law [over the West Bank], we're only talking about Area C. [In such a scenario] of course Palestinians in Area C are citizens. Areas A and B can be a confederation with Jordan, with Gaza. Right now it doesn't sound realistic, because King Abdullah isn't interested and there are constraints, but we need to set goals according to what is good for Israel. It's not good for Israel to have a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel," she continued. 

Shaked also criticized her successor in the Justice Ministry, the newly-appointed Justice Minister Amir Ohana, who sparked a controversy when he said last week that the state doesn't always have to abide by rulings of the High Court. "Israel is not an anarchy," Shaked said. "Of course in a democracy the government and the citizens have to abide by court rulings, even if we don't like them or don't agree with them." 

Shaked added that she believes more conservative judges should be nominated for top positions, and reiterated her support for the so-called override clause being promoted by Netanyahu, a suggested legislation that would prevent the Supreme Court from interfering with illegal Knesset decisions.