Israel’s Netanyahu partners with Religious Zionism alliance
October 31, 2022 - As Israelis go to the polls for the fifth time since 2019, the far-right religious umbrella Religious Zionism alliance could become the third-largest party in the Knesset.
Longtime Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will form a government with his right-religious political partners: Religious Zionism, United Torah Judaism, and Shas.
Religious Zionism is a far-right party led by Bezalel Smotrich, who has teamed up with the neo-Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party led by Itamar Ben Gvir -- a disciple of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane -- and Avi Maoz’s openly homophobic anti-LGBT Noam faction.
The alliances came together after extensive pushing from Netanyahu since August, who has been willing to go to great lengths to ensure that no votes in the right-wing bloc go to waste through small parties slipping below the electoral threshold.
- Fifth time’s a charm? ToI’s guide to the 39 parties vying for your vote, again (Times of Israel)
- What Makes Israel’s Far Right Different (Foreign Policy)
- Bezalel Smotrich detained by Shin Bet for anti-disengagement plot in 2005 (Y Net News)
- Bezalel Smotrich, radical views do not represent religious Zionists (The Jerusalem Post)