Talks on Broad Right-wing Alliance Must Be Concluded on Sunday, Shaked Says

Top spot and inclusion of Kahanist party still unresolved, with less than a week to go before deadline to register Knesset roster ahead of Israel's September vote

Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Bezalel Smotrich at a faction meeting of the Habayit Hayehudi party, March 16, 2018.
Tomer Appelbaum

As negotiations between Hayamin Hehadash and the Union of Right-Wing Parties over a joint election run continue, the parties have yet to agree on who will lead the potential alliance.

Meanwhile, with less than a week left until the August 1 deadline to formally register slates with the Central Elections Committee, talks with Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit, which ran with the right-wing union in April’s election, are still in deadlock.

>> Read more: Gay conversion controversy reveals seismic shift in Israeli politics ■ Shaked, a secular woman, heading a political party? Oh, the joys of liberal fascism | Opinion

Former justice minister and recently announced Hayamin Hehadash leader Ayelet Shaked said over the weekend that “there may still be disagreements and gaps, but they’re not that big,” urging Habayit Hayehudi’s Rafi Peretz and the National Union’s Bezalel Smotrich to “make all efforts … to unite all of the religious Zionist [public] and the secular ideological right-wing.”

She also warned that “sticking to unrealistic demands would make us all lose. The right-wing bloc will lose. Time is up, we have to make decisions on Sunday.”

In a bid to attract the Union of Right-Wing Parties, Hayamin Hehadash negotiators have agreed to place the former’s candidates higher up on the joint slate than what had been earlier proposed. However, both parties refuse to forgo their demand for the union’s leadership, with both Shaked and Peretz aiming for the position and setting it as a precondition for a merger.