MK Orit Strook
MK Orit Strook Arutz Sheva

In an interview with Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, MK Orit Strook of the Religious Zionism party discussed recent shifts in Israel's political scene.

Strook began by commenting on former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who officially announced today that he will be entering the political arena and will be joining Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa'ar to form the "State Camp" party. "This event was jaw-dropping, I'm not sure what I should cry about, what to be upset about, and what to be shocked about. Let's start with Gideon Sa'ar and Ze'ev Elkin, two politicians, that if a year and a half ago I was asked to make a list of the top ten individuals that oppose land concessions and the creation of a Palestinian state, would rank high on it. The fact that they joined Benny Gantz, a left-winger disguised as a centrist, and now to bring in Eizenkot, who still calls for land concessions in Judea and Samaria? They've completely switched their right-wing ideology."

Strook continued: "If I would repeat what I heard Elkin say about Eizenkot, the ground would fall out from under both of them." She added that she was shocked to hear that while a terror attack was unfolding in the capital, defense minister Gantz was busy with petty politics surrounding Eizenkot.

Another politician that announced that he will be joining Gantz and Sa'ar is deputy Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana. About Kahana, Strook said that her expectations of him were already low and his place is unimportant. "Pay attention: this is a wholly left-wing party and if Matan Kahana feels at home there, let him enjoy it."

Regarding her own party and whether or not there will be a merger with MK Itamar Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yehudit party, Strook foresees that in the end there will be a merger, but as said before, it's best to wait until the party primaries are over in a little over a week. She states that the list must be an important parameter for such a merger. To her estimation, the make-up of the deal won't be an even split, but she prefers not to go into detail about the issue. "I trust Bezalel (Smotrich) to manage the issue correctly and seriously, and in the end, we will have good news."

Regarding Ayelet Shaked's "Zionist Spirit" party, Strook said with a smile that it's "mostly hot air" (a play on the word for spirit in Hebrew). "During the last elections, I stood at the entrance to a polling station. While I was there, Matan Kahana turned up, and he asked me to pose for a picture for him. We are similar parties. We posed together for a picture... the people who were tricked into thinking that we were similar parties can't be tricked a second time. They understand who they're dealing with, and they understand that those who were willing to create a government with the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood aren't trustworthy in the long run and I don't believe that their prospects are anything more than hot air."

Strook is currently running for the first time in party primaries. She says that the primaries are being held so people who feel that they don't have a party to call home, can feel at home in a more diverse party.

"It will be interesting to see who will be elected. I see a lot of concern among party members who see the primaries as something serious, they came to have an impact and I want to believe that they will choose well and will build a winning team both electorally and one that also knows how to work. It's also important to attract voters, but a party list is judged on how it gets the job done. Every one of the list's members worked together fantastically. Over the years I've seen many lists, but I've yet to see a good job as we did in the past year, and I hope the voters understand that and allow us to continue that work."