Election roundup Monday 15 December

Today’s election update:

After last night’s press conference at which Shas leader Arye Deri was supported by founder R. Ovadia’s daughter, Adina bar-Shalom, today several recordings surfaced of Mrs bar-Shalom criticising Deri’s leadership of Shas.

Eli Yishai, the former Shas leader who left the party yesterday, held a press conference tonight to discuss his own new party. Well, he tried to – but it was disrupted by Shas people calling him a traitor, grabbing the picture of R Ovadia and forcing Yishai to flee into a side-room, protected by hotel security, for his own safety. So that went well. Meanwhile, everyone is waiting to see if Uri Ariel will join Yishai to form a new party or will stick with Jewish Home.

More trouble for Benjamin Netanyahu, as the Likud ‘court’ ruled that he’d actually lose last week’s vote on whether to make the party Primary earlier. He’s said he will appeal this ruling tomorrow, and it might end up at the Supreme Court. All this while he spent all day in Rome meeting John Kerry.

The far-right is planning another comeback, with Michael Ben-Ari and Baruch Marzel resurrecting the Otzma L’Yisrael faction. It will probably struggle to make the new 4% election threshold, though.

Moshe Kahlon and Yair Lapid met today in a supposed-to-be-secret meeting. Rumours say it was discussing ‘uniting the centre’, though this is not thought to be a full merged list and more of a cooperation agreement.

Labour MK Avishai Braverman announced that he wasn’t planning to stand for the next Knesset.

Election roundup Sunday 14 December

Political catch-up after a busy day (long post but short paragraphs):

  1. Eli Yishai has left Shas to form a new political party, provisionally called “Maran” (offensive much?). He might be joined by Uri Ariel of Tekuma, leaving the Bayit Yehudi. If they join up, the new CharDal (charedi-nationalist) party, probably Israel’s most right-wing party, will be called Yachad.
  2. Staying on Shas. There were rumours of big news from Shas, which initially seemed confirmed when Arye Deri annouced he’d hold a joint press conference with Adina bar-Shalom, R Ovadia’s daughter and a champion for Haredi women’s education. Rumours were that she would be on the Shas list to be an MK. The actual announcement – that she’d chair a new Women’s Committee for Shas – was a let-down. The other Shas news of the day was that Shas MKs met in secret and decided not to leave the party with Yishai.
  3. Every male Ashkenazi over the age of 35 seems to be running in th Bayit Yehudi primary. Today, Danny Dayan, the former head of the Yesha Council and a Likud stalwart, joined the party. Several other people have announced they’re standing in the primaries, including reality TV stars and political commentators
  4. Meanwhile, Yoni Chetbourn, a Bayit Yehudi MK, has quit the party tonight. Rumours he’s joining Yishai’s thing.
  5. Despite repeated rumours about people joining Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, almost nobody is confirmed. In fact, as soon as a name is mooted someone comes out to deny they’re interested – Rami Levy, Michael Oren and Avi Katz of Cofix have all denied that they’re on the Kulanu list, though some are reportedly considering it.
  6. Last night Tzipi Livni was on the satirical news show Matzav HaUma and said some rude things about the Prime Minister, resulting in some very upset people saying rude things about her. I saw the show and actually thought she was pretty funny.