Matan Kahana
Matan Kahana Arutz Sheva

Haaretz analyst Yossi Verter has estimated that Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana will not run again with with the Yamina party.

According to Verter, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who now heads Yamina, has set general guidelines for the party's campaign: "It is mostly a financial campaign, supporting a 'broad government,' not ruling out any party, other than the Joint Arab List. The United Arab List (Ra'am) can be a partner on condition that the government is not reliant on it. And obviously that [MK Benjamin] Netanyahu is fit and worthy to be prime minister, along with [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz (Blue and White, [interim Prime Minister Yair] Lapid, and [Justice Minister Gideon] Sa'ar (New Hope), by the way."

Shaked will also try to be the 'kingmaker' who decides which government will be formed, he said, adding, "There's no need to play games, it's clear which option is more pleasant in her eyes."

"Until the moment the Knesset dissolved, she did acrobatics to form an alternative government led by Netanyahu. I will not be surprised if in the campaign itself he works for her, knowing that she is in his pocket. Unless she doesn't have a chance, and then he will offer her the world so that she will bow out [of the race]."

Yamina, Verter said, is falling apart: "Its other prominent MK, Matan Kahana, is greatly sought after by Gideon Sa'ar of New Hope, and Benny Gantz of Blue and White. He tends to prefer the latter, but has not yet decided. His position is clear: Anyone but Netanyahu. ... In his opinion, in this long election cycle (123 days, no less), all of the players need to come onto the soccer field with a shirt that says 'Yes Netanyahu,' or, 'No Netanyahu,' and then start kicking, talking about economics, religion and state, security, and whatever else."

"Obviously, therefore, Kahana and Shaked were not meant to run together... Kahana also does not believe in Yamina's potential without Bennett. In contradiction to the estimates, it became clear this week that Bennett never really considered skipping over Shaked and passing the party to Kahana. From the first, he told his friend from the army that if she wants it, the party is hers. 'She went with me for ten years, she was loyal, I won't stab a knife in her back.'"