Smotrich: I'm willing to give up everything for right-wing unity

Transportation Min. Smotrich calls on United Right factions to approve agreement, says right-wing parties should run together.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (United Right) on Monday morning promised to do "anything" in order to preserve the parties' unity.

Until last week, the United Right was made up of the Jewish Home, National Union, and Otzma Yehudit parties.

In an interview with Reshet Bet, Smotrich said, "I thought, and I still think, that the United Right needed to approve the agreement as it was. And on that basis, we need to unite as one ticket."

Slamming the Jewish Home and Otzma Yehudit factions' attempts to improve their standings in the party ahead of the upcoming elections, Smotrich wrote: "It makes me sad. I think it's unnecessary and takes time, and I think that we'll find ourselves with a similar makeup. I want to believe that this is a process of negotiations. I think it's a mistake. The responsibility placed on our shoulders is great."

Regarding the possibility of joining together with additional right-wing parties, Smotrich emphasized his willingness to give up seats and positions in order to allow such a list to succeed.

"Anyone who wants to run to the right of the Likud must unite," he said. "I definitely won't be the leader. I think Rabbi Rafi Peretz is doing a good job and he can lead. I'm not going to stand in the way of a union, I'm willing to make any compromises necessary."

Smotrich also discussed whether former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) could lead his party: "I'm not handling negotiations and I don't decide anything. I think that it would be better if Rabbi Peretz chaired the party, Ayelet will do a great job even in second place, but I don't decide and don't determine anything, at the end of the day in one room we can reach agreements."

Slamming New Right chairman Naftali Bennett for encouraging two separate parties - the United Right and a "liberal right-wing party" - to the right of the Likud, Smotrich added: "I am aware of the differences. We have a large enough common denominator that we can run together."

"Naftali hasn't learned anything. Reality slapped us all in the face. Come, let's put aside the theories and wishes. Running separately shows a lack of responsibility, and the potential damage is enormous."