JERUSALEM (JTA) – The head of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, Rafi Peretz, will turn over the reins of a joint electoral list to New Right Party leader Ayelet Shaked.
Peretz made the announcement Sunday afternoon in a tweet.
“We agreed that out of national responsibility and concern for the right-wing and Religious Zionist government that Ayelet will head the Union of Right Wing Parties. Unity is a common goal of all of us,” the tweet said, in part.
They were scheduled to meet later on Sunday to iron out the details. Peretz reportedly will require the alliance to endorse Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister after the September 17 elections.
A week ago, New Right Party leader Naftali Bennett stepped aside to allow Shaked, the former justice minister, to lead the party, which failed to cross the 3.25 percent vote threshold necessary to enter Knesset by fewer than 1,500 votes in April’s elections. The alliance is meant to ensure that the right-wing parties will not waste votes if one of the parties was not able to clear the electoral threshold.
Polls show a united right wing earning more votes under Shaked then Peretz. Peretz has come under fire for making two major political blunders in recent weeks, including calling intermarriage a “second Holocaust,” and appearing to support gay conversion therapy.
Moshe Feiglin, the head of the Zehut Party, a mixture far-right ideology and libertarian policy, announced Sunday night that his party will run alone and not ally with the united right wing.
The final slates must be presented to the Central Elections Committee by Aug. 1.