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Thursday, September 19, 2019 

No wonder Yamina fared poorly

According to Yehuda Schlesinger, there's plenty of valid reasons why Yamina was otherwise a flop for a right-wing party:
The Israeli public abhors political disagreements. When everyone rallied behind Bennett in 2013, Habayit Hayehudi garnered 12 Knesset seats. But this time around, nearly every step that the Yamina faction – of which Habayit Hayehudi is a member – took was accompanied by arguments and internal criticism. The party, which had hopes to earn 12 Knesset seats, will barely scrape by with seven.

Barely a day goes by in which there is some report of friction in Yamina. It started with covert pressure from Shaked on Peretz, and as reported by this paper, culminated in an ultimatum, to let her take his place at the head of the list. To this day, there are people in the party willing to swear on their lives that Shaked had a hand in the publication of recordings of Peretz's wife Michal that served to deeply embarrass Peretz in the public sphere. In the recordings, Michal can be heard saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said Peretz would only stay on as education minister if Shaked were kept off the top of the list. The reports in the media only added to the pressure on Peretz to step down. Shaked, of course, denies having anything to do with the leaked recordings.

These types of reports were coming out on an almost daily basis during the election campaign. Shaked wanted to hang a huge sign on the Ayalon Highway, and members of Habayit Hayehudi opposed the idea. The decision to have Shaked's picture plastered on the side of buses angered party members. Smotrich published a missive to the national religious community. Peretz, who hadn't been informed of the move, was angered by it.
On the one hand, it's weird how they wouldn't want to make use of Shaked's picture on buses and the Ayalon highway, unless they actually thought Haredis wouldn't vote for them based on her iffy background. On the other hand, she proved such an embarrassment in her own way, it probably would've better if they didn't bother. And her faction colleagues showed up late to meetings and such. It's clear at this point she and Bennett weren't worth supporting in the first place, and time they both retired. But they'll probably renege on that too, and it just shows why they were bad choices in the first place for candidates.

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