'Anti-Shaked obsession will cost us dearly'

Likud officials criticize PM Netanyahu's 'obsession' with former Justice Min. Shaked, say refusal to recruit her will 'cost' party dearly.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked
Kobi Richter/ TPS

Likud sources on Sunday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's insistence that he does not want former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) placed at the top of her party's list.

According to the sources, other than the the animosity towards Shaked and the New Right's former Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Likud polls show that Shaked will bring more voters than Transportation Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who currently chairs the United Right party. Netanyahu, for his part, is interested in a large Likud, with a party to its right which does not infringe on the Likud's voters.

Current polls show that a Shaked-led list would take three Knesset seats from the Likud. However, the party believes that the Netanyahu family's protests against Shaked are exaggerated.

"Earlier, Netanyahu refused to reserve a place for her [in the list], and now he's intervening so that she won't lead [her party]. This obsession against Shaked will end up costing us dearly," Yediot Aharonot quoted the sources as saying.

On Sunday, reports said that Sara Netanyahu had asked Rabbi Peretz's wife, Michal, not to give up her husband's place in the list to accommodate Ayelet Shaked. The report said that the two discussed joint lists on the right.

However, a statement on behalf of Sara Netanyahu said: "Sara Netanyahu and the wife of Minister Peretz met by chance briefly at a large wedding. The two embraced briefly, surrounded by a large crowd, and decided to meet later. The claim about the details of the conversation that ostensibly took place is fictional."

On Monday, reports said Netanyahu himself had asked Peretz not to give up his place, emphasizing that Shaked will not add Knesset seats to the United Right and urging him to reunite with the Otzma Yehudit party. Netanyahu and Peretz are scheduled to meet Monday night.

Netanyahu's office refused to respond to the reports.