Ayelet Shaked: Yamina is the only truly independent party

"We don't follow Netanyahu with blind admiration, nor do we oppose him with blind hatred. But he has to go."

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

MK Ayelet Shaked
MK Ayelet Shaked
Yoni Kempinski

MK Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) participated in Arutz Sheva’s recent economics conference, and Ofer Hadad took the opportunity to discuss the upcoming elections with the former Justice Minister.

Polls conducted in the past few weeks have shown significant support for Yamina, peaking several weeks ago and then dropping abruptly following the announcement of former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar that he would be establishing a new political party, New Hope. Was Shaked concerned at the development?

“We’re fighters,” Shaked said, “and we’re still at the beginning of the road as far as the coming elections are concerned. We’re going to be doing everything we can to get those votes back.”

Shaked added that Yamina’s MKs are politicians who have proven their success in the past. “Look at what Bennett achieved during the coronavirus epidemic [as Defense Minister]. He was the one who established the corona hotels, who ramped up the numbers of tests and set up epidemiological research; he was the one who sent the IDF into Dir al-Assad and Bnei Brak.” According to Shaked, the third nationwide lockdown the country is currently in the midst of is a sign of the government’s failed management of the crisis.

She added that the public has already come to the conclusion that Netanyahu prefers to establish a coalition with left-wing rather than right-wing parties. “People realized that when they saw him give the Justice portfolio to Nissenkorn, and threw us into the opposition,” she alleged.

Shaked insists that Yamina “represents all streams of religious-Zionism, including those who are traditionally observant or even secular. We’re also virtually the only address for self-employed workers during the coronavirus crisis – for people who are literally collapsing under the strain. Everyone’s ecstatic about the vaccination program nowadays, but although the vaccines are great, we have to remember that this coronavirus is like a tsunami wave, and when it finally recedes, it will have left in its wake tens of thousands of businesses destroyed. We’re the ones who know what has to be done to help them.”

When asked why the Yamina party, unlike several other parties, refuses to rule out sitting with Netanyahu in a future coalition, Shaked replied that, “We’re not in his pocket. There are two main camps today – those who follow Netanyahu with blind admiration, and those who oppose him with blind hatred. We are the only party that doesn’t belong to either of those camps. We’re an independent party, not in anyone’s pay. We believe that Naftali Bennett needs to be the next prime minister, and although we acknowledge that Netanyahu has achieved many good things for the country, we believe it’s time he handed over the reigns to someone younger, someone fresh. We’re the only politicians in the system who aren’t bluffing when we say that – and that’s the truth,” she concluded.