Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not behind the effort to block former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) from being included in the Likud’s Knesset slate for the next election, a Likud MK has claimed, adding that opposition to Shaked’s inclusion in the party instead comes from other senior Likud officials.
MK Miki Zohar (Likud), who has supported a plan to recruit Shaked into the Likud and give her a reserved spot high on the party’s list for the September election, said Tuesday morning that the prime minister is not opposed to the plan, but added that other senior party officials were adamantly opposed.
“Netanyahu told me that there is opposition from senior Likud officials to the idea of securing a spot for her, and that creates problems.”
Zohar dismissed rumors that the Prime Minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, had pressured her husband not to reserve a spot for Shaked in the Likud list.
“Mrs. Netanyahu isn’t involved in this matter, despite what some people want to think. Everyone who claims that she is doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The staunch opposition to reserving a spot for Shaked isn’t coming from Netanyahu, it is coming from Likud senior officials.”
The Likud MK warned that if Shaked isn’t recruited into the party, it will cost the Likud two seats in the next election.
“Imagine, if you will, a situation in which Liberman manages to convince Shaked to run with him. That would mean the end of the Netanyahu government.”
“I estimate that Shaked can bring half of the votes the New Right got in the last elections, or about two seats. That could mean the difference between victory and defeat in the elections. We need to remember that Liberman isn’t in our camp.”