(January 10, 2019 / JNS) The election strategy of the New Right party, co-founded by former leader of Habayit Hayehudi Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, focuses on attracting votes that might otherwise go to Yesh Atid or former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party, Israel Hayom has learned.
On Thursday, Bennett told a small group of party associates that “the perception has changed. In the past few years, there hasn’t been any attempt to move votes from one bloc to another – only within the [same] bloc. We’re doing the opposite. Half of Gantz’s votes could come to us.”
Bennett went on to say that the New Right had already “taken” two votes away from Gantz and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, and that the New Right’s own polls were showing that the trend would continue.
“Votes will move from one bloc to the other for the first time in years,” Bennett said.
The New Right has also decided to refrain, for now, from attacks on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud. Bennett explained to his New Right cohort that Netanyahu was not taking aim at the New Right because he understood that the support from the party, which has committed to backing Netanyahu as prime minister in the next government, was vital for him to win.
“The establishment of the party [New Right] strengthens the right-wing bloc and the nationalist camp. The prime minister understands that. He knows that we’ll recommend him and that our party will keep votes from ‘leaking’ to the center-left,” Bennett said, adding that this was the reason why the Likud had dialed down its public criticism of him and Shaked.
In other election news, the party founded by Adina Bar-Shalom, the daughter of the spiritual leader of the Shas party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, was set to unveil a campaign targeting national-religious voters on Thursday.
The print campaign ran in religious Zionist newspapers and points to the split in Habayit Hayehudi, saying, “When they split up, we unite.”