PM Netanyahu calls on Religious Zionist parties to unite to save bloc

'Two lists may fall below electoral threshold and lead to rise of leftist government,' PM Netanyahu warns.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

PM Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu
Yehonatan Waltzer, TPS

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night called on the smaller right-wing parties to unite into a single list.

"The right will not forgive [Defense Minister Naftali] Bennett, [Transportation Minister Bezalel] Smotrich, and [Education Minister Rabbi Rafi] Peretz if they do not unite into a single list," Netanyahu tweeted. "Two lists may fall below the electoral threshold and lead to the rise of a leftist government."

Bennett leads the New Right party, which broke off from the joint National Union-Jewish Home list ahead of the April 2019 elections. Smotrich heads the National Union party, which for years ran as a joint list with the Peretz's Jewish Home party.

However, Rabbi Peretz recently signed an agreement to run together with the far-right Otzma Yehudit list, without consulting with Smotrich or members of his own party. As a result, the National Union and Jewish Home parties are not running together, and Smotrich is instead eyeing a union with the New Right party.

Responding to Netanyahu's tweet, the New Right said: "We appreciate Netanyahu's concern. We will continue our task of bringing votes from the Blue and White and [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor] Liberman, for the sake of creating a strong and secure right-wing government for the citizens of Israel."

The Jewish Home party responded: "The Jewish Home calls on Bennett and Smotrich to come and unite with us in one large Jewish Home party. From there you came, and to there you should return."

"Past experience has taught us that our public does not like splits and punishes us for them. The upcoming elections are crucial for the entire right-wing camp, and we must not make light of the matter."