Netanyahu's plan to 'erase' Bennett

Document obtained by Israel Hayom newspaper reveals how PM is planning to influence who leads the national-religious public.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Gershon Ellinson/Flash 90

Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu plans to work to take away votes from the Yamina party in the last few days before the election, according to a document obtained by the Israel Hayom newspaper.

The report quotes political figures as saying that the purpose of the plan is to try to equal the number of seats of Religious Zionism, led by Bezalel Smotrich, to that of Yamina and if possible - even bypass it.

The move is aimed at crowning Smotrich as the leader of religious Zionism in Bennett's place.

"Smotrich in Netanyahu's pocket," the officials said, "and therefore Netanyahu prefers to return to the days when he had complete control over the people of religious Zionism."

The sources cited, among other things, the surplus agreement between the Likud and Religious Zionism, the clauses of which explicitly state that Smotrich undertakes to recommend Netanyahu as Prime Minister and also to be loyal to him throughout his term.

According to the plan, Netanyahu will promise Bennett’s voters that he will make sure to include Bennett and Shaked in his government, but that in order to save the right-wing bloc and allow for this to happen, it is necessary that they vote for Smotrich.

The Israel Hayom report stated that the plan is to transfer at least a seat and one quarter from Yamina to Smotrich, giving him about 6.5 seats. In the second stage, there is an understanding between Chabad and some haredi circles to order their people to vote for Religious Zionism, thus enabling it to reach 7.25 seats.

Finally, the sources also point to the placing of Smotrich's close associate, Ofir Sofer, in the 28th spot on the Likud slate, and thus after the election, "Religious Zionism will receive another seat as a gift from the Likud."

The Likud has not commented on the report.



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