Shaked to Arutz Sheva: Running with Smotrich is good for the right'

Ayelet Shaked: Running with Smotrich has proven itself and there is no reason not to continue.

Shimon Cohen ,

Smotrich, Bennett and Shaked
Smotrich, Bennett and Shaked
Flash 90

MK Ayelet Shaked, head of the Yamina Knesset faction, on Sunday rejected the attempts to cause a rift between MK Bezalel Smotrich and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett and herself, telling Arutz Sheva in an interview she believes that the three will indeed run together in the next election.

Responding to the allegations made by Transportation Minister Miri Regev on Saturday night, when she claimed that Bennett is hiding Smotrich’s dark and racist views, Shaked said that "these attacks on Bezalel and the derogatory nicknames are in my opinion only intended to hide [her own] incompetence in the ministry."

On the option that Bennett and Shaked will split off from Smotrich, she said, "Absolutely not. Bezalel and us work together. Running together is the right thing for Israeli citizens, for the right in Israel and for religious Zionism. It is true that there are many elements who try to split us in different ways, including an unknown source sending messages against Bezalel but it will not work. We are cooperating well. Yamina will run together."

Shaked said that there is no basis to the claim or the feeling that Smotrich will deal with matters of sovereignty and governance, while she and Bennett will deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. "No. We all deal with everything that is needed. The Ministry of Transportation is one of the strongest economic ministries and we all hope Bezalel will return to it."

Shaked said she believes that there are no elections on the horizon now and the possibility of the government falling has been postponed because "Gantz demonstrates magnificent capabilities to cave in. Today, a director general to the Alternate Prime Minister’s office was appointed. This is what they chose in Blue and White to appoint. It's pretty sad. Another unnecessary job. It is impossible to know. We will wait and see if there are elections or not."

Asked about her and Bennett’s silence in light of the exposure of recordings of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife personally attacking them, Shaked replied, "We have never commented on baseless gossip or recordings of closed conversations. What interests us is not what Netanyahu says in closed conversations but what he does and how he manages the coronavirus crisis and this government has failed. At every political crossroads we have done what is right for the State of Israel, without letting certain feelings get in the way."

"In the test of the coronavirus crisis, this quarrelsome and conflicted government has failed miserably. The fact that the budget is being held hostage is a serious blow to the citizens of the State of Israel, all because of the political debates between them. There is no cure for this government and we have to go to elections," she stated.

On the issue of the lifting of the restrictions imposed on Jonathan Pollard, Shaked was asked if the Israeli government had done enough for Pollard.

"It is true that Pollard did not receive any relief and was released in accordance with American law. The five years of restrictions ended, but it is not true that the government did not do anything. As Minister of Justice I worked on this issue, the government tried, the Prime Minister acted, the ambassador and others acted, but the US were not ready to hear about easing the restrictions and so he served all 30 years in prison and also the five years of restrictions, but it was an American decision. That does not mean that the Israeli government did not take action."

Asked whether it is possible to understand why the insistence on Pollard serving his full sentence, Shaked replied, "This is an internal American matter", adding that she views this conduct as an internal matter for both the US Department of Justice and the security forces there.