Rabbi Peretz refuses to give up top spot

Education Minister refuses to concede top spot on United Right slate to Shaked.

Ben Ariel ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The chairman of the United Right party, Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, refuses to concede the top spot on the party’s Knesset slate to former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Speaking in an interview with Channel 12 News, Peretz was asked why he refuses a move that would bring many more seats to the United Right list. He replied, "I think that it’s not all about seats, and it’s not all about polls."

"I think that religious Zionism has a path, and that the person leading down this path should be a religious Zionist and Ayelet could be next to him,” he continued.

When asked why Shaked should be in a party that will not let her take the top spot, place, the Education Minister replied, "I think that her way up can start by returning to politics. And we say to her - come back to politics.”

"I want her in the party because we need every vote, not to throw out votes. We want them all," Rabbi Peretz added.

A poll released Thursday morning by the Walla! news website found that Shaked is considered the leading candidate to head the right-wing bloc.

According to the poll, 31% of the general public believes that Shaked should lead the united party, and only 7% think that Rabbi Peretz should stand at the head. New Right chairman Naftali Bennett receives more support with 16%, and the Chairman of the National Union, Bezalel Smotrich, wins 6%. 25% of the respondents replied "none of them."

Earlier this week, a senior member of the Likud party approached Rabbi Peretz, and explained to him why placing Shaked at the top of the United Right’s Knesset list would ensure the establishment of a right-wing government after the elections.

According to the official, internal polls proved that Shaked is the only one capable of attracting audiences to the list, and can bring it to a double-digit number of seats.

Such a move would guarantee 61 seats for a right-wing government that would not have to rely on Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman after the elections.