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In public video, Yamina MK calls on Shaked to change course

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Yamina MK Nir Orbach leads a House Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 21, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)
Yamina MK Nir Orbach leads a House Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 21, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)

Yamina MK Nir Orbach, who was seen as dealing one of the final blows that brought down the outgoing government coalition, has issued a public call to the party’s new leader, Ayelet Shaked, to rethink her electoral approach.

“The experiment failed, it’s time to start over,” says Orbach in a campaign video circling on social media and WhatsApp. “I’m calling on my friends: There’s no more room for experiments. The national religious [movement] needs to join the home of the faithful right.”

Yamina, formerly led by Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, split from the traditional national-religious party Jewish Home to appeal to a wider set of voters, but failed to win a large piece of the electoral pie. The party is currently polling below the electoral threshold in most polls, though such surveys aren’t always reliable.

Taking pride in his role in breaking apart the coalition, Orbach’s video appears geared to two audiences: Likud and his estranged political home of Yamina.

Orbach has yet to close deals with either party, but sources familiar with the matter confirm that he still hopes to snag a ministerial role with Likud.

Likud has repeatedly signaled that it will not offer Orbach a guaranteed spot on its slate, and sources close to the issue say he will not run for a spot via primaries.

Despite past examples of Likud going back on promises to deliver ministerial posts, Orbach may pursue a course of action that doesn’t place him in the Knesset but allows for him to be externally appointed.

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