Ayelet Shaked, Yoaz Hendel

Shaked and Hendel join forces as the Zionist Spirit party for Knesset run

Both leaders say they oppose narrow Netanyahu government which Hendel says will act only in the interests of the former PM and narrow left-wing coalition not likely to last; party to focus on cost of living and governance

Moran Azulay |
Published: 07.27.22, 21:30
Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked and Derech Eretz member Yoaz Hendel - who was part of the New Hope party, on Wednesday announced they would be joining forces in a new political party to run in the November elections.
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  • Both serve as ministers in the caretaker government as Minister of the Interior, and Minister of communications, respectively.
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    Ayelet Shaked, Yoaz Hendel
    Ayelet Shaked, Yoaz Hendel
    Ayelet Shaked, Yoaz Hendel
    (Photo: Ariel Zandberg )
    The alliance to be named The Spirit of Zionism, its leaders said, will seek to unite Zionist factions in a stable government that will not be reliant on extremists from the right or on the support of Arab factions.
    Shaked, who took over the leadership of Yamina after former prime minister Naftali Bennett resigned from politics, said her new party aims to end the polarization intensified by repeated election cycles when half of the country inevitably feels it has lost to the other half.
    She said the narrow Bennett coalition, that wanted to prevent further elections, was lacking the spirit of Zionism which she now hopes will take its place in the next government. but added that her party will oppose a narrow coalition and will force the formation of a unity government.
    Shaked has said recently she does not object to joining former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition. But her new partner said on Wednesday, that voters must chose between a government that will dismantle the judicial system in the service of one man – referring to Netanyahu, or one that will serve the interests of voters.
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    איילת שקד ויועז הנדל
    איילת שקד ויועז הנדל
    Yoaz Hendel and Ayelet Shaked announce their new party on Wednesday
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    "We oppose a narrow Netanyahu led government that will only look out for his interests, and a narrow left-wing coalition that will include Arab parties," he said.
    Netanyahu is on trial for corruption in a Jerusalem court and has claimed the charges against him were trumped up by the police and the attorney general's office for political reasons.
    He has vowed to "reform" the legal system and observers fear he will attempt to stop his trial by appointing officials who will do his bidding.
    Hendel identified the post of public security minister as a goal in the next government. he had previously served as an adviser to Netanyahu and has been critical of the former prime minister's conduct. He was fired after he reported the sexual misconduct of a close associate of Netanyahu and his wife.
    Both politicians said the main focus of their new political alliance will be the rising cost of living and matters of governance primarily over the Bedouin population in the Negev.

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