Amit Segal
Amit SegalHadas Parush/Flash 90

In an interview that aired on Channel 12 News, political analyst Amit Segal said that according to his sources, Religious Zionist Party chairman Bezalel Smotrich has convinced PM Netanyahu that Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yisrael would not add significant value to a joint run between the parties.

Asked about the likelihood of parties to right of the Likud joining forces, Segal pointed out the latest polls indicated none of the smaller parties - Smotrich's Religious Zionist Party, Hagit Moshe's Jewish Home, or Ben-Gvir's Otzma would pass the voter threshold if elections were held today. He blamed "arrogant" right-wing leaders for refusing to join hands despite threats of an anti-Netanyahu coalition defeating a de-facto Right camp.

Segal went on to say that Ben-Gvir's perceived value was between 9,000 and 10,000 votes - and that in these elections, he was expected to receive even less since last time, "he was seen as battling Bennett and Shaked, as well as Reform and secular Jews," adding that in Smotrich's estimate, Netanyahu would end up losing more from the Left than he would gain on the Right if Otzma were to run together with the Religious Zionist Party.

Segal stressed that Smotrich was making a "very dangerous gamble," since "the National Union [the Yamina faction headed by Smotrich now running under the moniker of "Religious Zionist Party"] has never succeeded crossing the threshold on its own accord," and "Netanyahu's chances [of establishing a government] rested on Smotrich's ability to do just that.