Otzma Yehudit announced Thursday night that it will not run on a joint list with the United Right party, vowing instead to run separately for the 22nd Knesset.
Flanked by fellow party leaders Baruch Marzel, Bentzi Gopstein, and Michael Ben-Ari, attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir said that New Right candidate Naftali Bennett had blocked a possible alliance between Otzma and the expanded United Right alliance.
“Last time around, we prevented the formation of a left-wing government, and thanks to us, the United Right members became ministers,” said Ben-Gvir at the Knesset Central Election Committee’s office Thursday night.
Ben-Gvir accused Bennett of vetoing a plan to bring Ben-Gvir into the United Right on the party’s 5th slot for the Knesset. Ben-Gvir was instead offered the 8th spot, with a second Otzma candidate offered the 13th.
“This is ingratitude towards us. I spoke with Shaked and asked for the fifth and eighth spots. They offered be the eighth spot, or to serve as a deputy minister or chairman of a committee.”
“Just today, I spoke with Ayelet Shaked about the details of the deal. But there are some who, because of their egos, are preventing [an alliance], and I point the finger at Bennett, who has an ‘alliance’ with Lapid,” Ben-Gvir continued, referring to Bennett’s 2013 “alliance” with Yair Lapid.
“He caused the breakdown of talks with the United Right [and Otzma].”
With the deadline for registering party lists for the election set for 10:00 p.m., Otzma is expected to submit its Knesset list to the election committee for a separate run Thursday night, barring a last-minute change in the United Right’s position.
Otzma Yehudit ran together with the United Right, but without the New Right, in the April election. The party had been guaranteed the fifth and eighth spots, but lost its fifth spot when the Supreme Court banned the candidacy of former MK Michael Ben-Ari.