Knesset Member Nissan Slomianski, from the Jewish Home party, , talked to Arutz Sheva about the unification between the Otzma Yehudi with the right wing party and the matter with the Prime Minister, claiming that the move had saved the right-wing bloc.
“In the beginning we also objected to adding Otzma Yehudit due to differences in worldviews, and even told the Prime Minister by phone that we would lose votes if he [the Prime Minister] wanted to take them,” Slomianski said.
“Even at the meeting last Tuesday with the heads of the parties and activists, almost everyone objected to the union and the next morning in a meeting with elected representatives in particular, people didn’t agree.”
He said the turning point was in a meeting with the prime minister, where the prime minister’s personal surveys were presented to him.
“We said we would go to the prime minister and we went with Rabbi Rafi (Chairman of the Jewish Home) and sat with the prime minister for six hours. He would say to his credit that he took the matter very seriously and even gave up the meeting with Putin. I requested to see his surveys, he has the best surveys in the world. He lives by them and builds his techniques on them. He does surveys every day and sometimes more than once a day.”
“I asked for the surveys on Monday and Tuesday and saw that the Jewish Home with the National Union weren’t in the best of situations. So, it is true that we had not yet managed to reach out to the general public because we were still in contact with Otzma Yehudit, and perhaps we would have risen.
However, the second thing we saw in the polls is the issue of the blocs. It was still before the Gantz and Lapid unification, but we saw that the right-wing bloc and the left-wing bloc were almost the same, perhaps by a difference of two seats, maybe not even. So it was clear that the loss of votes of Otzma Yehudit could lead to a victory for the leftist bloc in the election and that would be a disaster. Therefore, out of responsibility mainly to the Gush, we made a decision and changed the approach even though I dd not want to. All this is in order to save another two and a half seats and save the right-wing bloc, and to give us a great momentum and national unity,” explained Slomianski.
MK Slomianski notes that the prime minister acted fairy in the agreement with them. “The conditions were that Otzma Yehudit would enter as a technical block and leave us immediately after the elections. In order not to lose votes, we asked the Prime Minister that the 28th Likud seat be secured for the Jewish Home in order to cover the loss of votes expected for the Jewish Home as a result of the unification. We also talked about the Norwegian law and about receiving two significant ministers who are more or less equal.
The Prime Minister also promised that he would not use an exercise to draw votes from our list. I am happy that this was also approved in the party overall because it could save the right.”
Slomianski later replied to the question as to why no similar agreement was signed with Eli Yishai.
“Yishai is desirable, pleasant and kind and we have no problems with him in terms of worldviews, but according to our surveys, we saw that he does not reach the mandate today. What he does have is Rabbi Mazuz, without whom he does not have these votes. So, we made a three-way deal with the prime minister. Eli Yishai will receive ninth place even though he wants a third place. And the prime minster will appoint him as minister at his own expense. What happened was that the prime minister told us he did not want to promise without holding, so we spoke to Deri. Shas [party] has five or six mandates, and Deri opposed the matter. Netanyahu told the same thing to Eli Yishai. Nevertheless, we told Eli Yishai that we were ready to give him ninth place, he is to bring a letter from Rabbi Mazuz to support the list, because it there are women on the list. We waited for the Elections Committee with two lists of candidates and we were the last ones to submit the list. In the end, we received a letter from Rabbi Mazuz, in which he agreed that Eli Yishai would enter as a technical block for our list but did not promise his support. So, we said there was no deal and Eli Yishai understood.”
Now after the merger, MK Slomianski is optimistic and believes that the prime minister will for the next government.
“To my understanding, the prime minister is not worried. From the moment the picture became clear, and the left-wing bloc with the unification between Gantz and Lapid, the Blue and White Party. They will probably draw votes from Meretz that may no pass the threshold. That way three or four seats from the left will be lost. Orly Levy is also not sure she will pass. Netanyahu hopes to draw votes from the lists accompanying the right and perhaps also from the Gantz and Lapid bloc.
There are some right-wingers who may now see what is on the scales and will vote for the Likud. If the Right continues to be in power, there is no certainty that the Blue/White will last. If they disband, it will be easier to pull a few parts into the coalition.”
When asked about the warning on Trump’s peace plan, Slomianski notes, “I cannot say what the plan is. It is possible that they are now trying to frighten us, because it has become a struggle even within the right, and the desire not to rely on Bibi. I do not know what written there. But if this plan is conditional on the Arabs having to accept it, then there were many plans that the Arabs did not agree with and rejected them out of hand, maybe this will happen this time as well.”
Toward the end of the interview, Slomianski attacked the decision of the permits committee in not allowing Netanyahu to receive donations to finance his legal representation.
“It looks bad and this is a decision that was made only because it is Netanyahu. What they want him to do is not take a defense, they want him to take a public advocacy, that by the way do a good job, but he needs his own defense. So, he says he wants to raise funds to finance his trial, and that it will not be at the expense of the state. What is more decent than that?”
Slomianski appreciates ha Mandelblit will allow Netanyahu to appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice before issuing his decision regarding the files.
“In my opinion, the decision has been made and the Attorney General will publish the decision. The decision is now only about the 2000 file with Noni Mozes that the Attorney General disagrees with recommendations from the State Prosecutor’s office. There is not real material to file an indictment. According to what I understand, Mandelblit will come to the Prime Minister a few days before he announces his recommendation and inform him that he is about to recommend an indictment that is subject to a hearing, but will allow him to appeal to the Supreme Court so that the Supreme Court of Justice will decide whether to publish the recommendation a month before the elections. After all, a recommendation to file an indictment without a pre-election hearing is a very unfair unilateral action. So I assume that the Prime Minister will turn to the Supreme Court.”