Likud MK Yoav Kisch said Wednesday in a TV interview that Jewish Home party chief Ayelet Shaked’s decision to remain in the election race to the end, despite her party consistently polling below the threshold, had been fully coordinated with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Kisch indicated to Channel 12 during an interview that this decision was aimed at leaving parties in the rival bloc below the electoral threshold.

Likud later denied Kisch’s assertion, saying “there was no coordination with Ayelet Shaked.” Kisch’s spokesman would not comment on the matter.

But Shaked appeared to largely confirm it, saying in response that the decision to remain in the race was “mine and mine alone,” but that she had spoken to Likud officials to ensure her running would not hurt the party, and that she had been told “it does not hurt the bloc at all — on the contrary.”

Shaked received some 50,000 votes in non-final results of Tuesday’s national election (with 87% of ballots counted). Israel’s electoral threshold is 3.25 percent of the total vote. By increasing the total number of voters (assuming they would not have voted otherwise), Shaked raised the minimum number of votes required for a party to pass the threshold.

Kisch was asked during the interview whether Shaked had been promised anything by Likud to remain in the race until the very end in a bid to sink smaller, rival parties by increasing the voter turnout.

“I don’t want to go into details,” he said. “We didn’t promise anything to the best of my knowledge. Nobody promised anything, but we did speak about the prospect of forgiveness.”

He apparently meant “forgiveness” for Shaked joining the so-called change government that ousted Netanyahu from power in 2021. Many on the right still blame Shaked for her part in establishing that government.

“I do know that she was thinking of quitting at one point,” Kisch said, confirming reports last month that Shaked had consulted advisers on potentially withdrawing from the race.

“This was discussed with Likud. After consulting on the issue, it was decided that she will continue until the end, and I think she did the right thing,” Kisch said.

The Likud MK said the message to Shaked was, “if you’re coordinating on this issue with the Likud, we will forgive the past and open a clean slate.” He insisted that she was not promised anything in return.

Channel 12 reported that the interview had apparently raised alarm in Likud, with Netanyahu instructing party members to halt any planned interviews with the media until further notice.

According to the non-final results of Tuesday’s elections, Shaked’s Jewish Home only won 1.17% of the votes, failing to cross the threshold required to enter the Knesset.

In the weeks leading up to election day, Netanyahu’s camp repeatedly attacked Shaked and claimed she was endangering the whole enterprise by burning right-wing votes on her way out of Knesset.

As of Wednesday night, the left-wing Meretz party and the hardline Arab nationalist party Balad were both hovering just under the 3.25% minimal electoral threshold.

Meretz is predicted to get 3.19% while Balad is at 3.01%, meaning that as it stands, both parties will not be in the next Knesset.

The only scenario that could thwart the Netanyahu bloc’s majority is if both Meretz and Balad end up above the threshold and if fellow left-wing Labor party — currently at 3.57% — doesn’t fall below it, once the remaining 13% of the vote is counted. Meretz crossing the threshold is seen as a possibility while Balad is viewed as a lost cause based on the source of outstanding votes.

With some 87% of the votes counted, the bloc of parties loyal to Netanyahu was predicted to win 65 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, which would give it a comfortable majority and potentially end a political crisis that has seen five general elections held in under four years.

Michael Bachner and Carrie Keller-Lynn contributed to this report.

Do you rely on The Times of Israel for accurate and insightful news on Israel and the Jewish world? If so, please join The Times of Israel Community. For as little as $6/month, you will:

We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month.

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago - to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel

QOSHE - Likud MK: Shaked coordinated staying in race with us in order to hurt rival parties - Tobias Siegal
We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Likud MK: Shaked coordinated staying in race with us in order to hurt rival parties

8 3 1
03.11.2022

Likud MK Yoav Kisch said Wednesday in a TV interview that Jewish Home party chief Ayelet Shaked’s decision to remain in the election race to the end, despite her party consistently polling below the threshold, had been fully coordinated with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Kisch indicated to Channel 12 during an interview that this decision was aimed at leaving parties in the rival bloc below the electoral threshold.

Likud later denied Kisch’s assertion, saying “there was no coordination with Ayelet Shaked.” Kisch’s spokesman would not comment on the matter.

But Shaked appeared to largely confirm it, saying in response that the decision to remain in the race was “mine and mine alone,” but that she had spoken to Likud officials to ensure her running would not hurt the party, and that she had been told “it does not hurt the bloc at all — on the contrary.”

Shaked received some 50,000 votes in non-final results of Tuesday’s national election (with 87% of ballots counted). Israel’s electoral threshold is 3.25 percent of the total vote. By increasing the total number of voters (assuming they would not have voted otherwise), Shaked raised the minimum number of votes required for a party to pass the threshold.

Kisch was........

© The Times of Israel


Get it on Google Play