Top right-wing bloc official says won’t follow Netanyahu blindly again — report

As Israel heads for a new election in March 2020, a senior right-wing figure has told associates his party will not automatically support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government if he doesn’t have enough votes following the national poll, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.

“There will not be another blind following of Netanyahu,” the unnamed official reportedly said. “A fourth election is not an option and would be unforgivable.”

The official in the right-wing bloc said he and his allies would consider supporting another candidate to form a government if Netanyahu cannot do so.

Channel 13, meanwhile, reported that Netanyahu is working to prevent the loss of right-wing votes in the March ballot, an unprecedented third vote in under a year, by ensuring that all small right-wing slates run together as one list. In both previous elections a right-wing party failed to pass the electoral threshold, losing votes for the right.

Ahead of the April election Netanyahu cut a controversial deal to ensure the far-right Otzma Yehudit ran alongside other religious parties, Jewish Home and National Union. New Right failed to pass the electoral threshold in that ballot. While New Right merged with Jewish Home and National Union for the September vote, it was Otzma Yehudit that ran independently, once again causing right-wing votes to go to waste.