Ayelet Shaked Is Netanyahu’s Heiress

For now Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is paired with Habayit Hayehudi party leader Naftali Bennett. But when the right moment comes, she’ll be No. 1 and a candidate for prime minister

By Carolina Landsmann, HAARETZ

With the generosity of a hangman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked appeared in Ynet’s studio this week and told all the heretics, those waiting with bated breath for the fall of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that he isn’t obligated to resign if he’s indicted.

This was Shaked at her best. “Let’s wait and see what happens,” she said, with considerable relish. “First, by law, the prime minister doesn’t have to resign.” After all, she wasn’t there to say anything good about Netanyahu. He needn’t resign not because he isn’t guilty, but because the law doesn’t require him to do so. Look how much Shaked respects the law.

At a time when Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is using his ministry’s budget to publicize his own achievements and reap political capital, Shaked is building a record of action as justice minister and gaining assets without calling attention to them. She’s working for the long term, not for momentary popularity. If it were Kahlon who had reregistered 180,000 dunams expropriated in the Negev as state land, it would long since have been publicized on ever possibly platform in the Negev: Look what I’ve given you. But that’s not Shaked’s style.

Shaked is very well-mannered. With each interview, she becomes more restrained, clearer and sharper. She never raises her voice, doesn’t get drawn into provocations, maintains a metallically precise enunciation and the coolness of a fighter pilot. She doesn’t babble, doesn’t applaud and doesn’t wave the Israeli flag.

A few months ago, a poll commissioned by activists in her Habayit Hayehudi party showed that if Shaked headed the party instead of current leader Naftali Bennett, it would win three more seats in the next elections. Did Shaked head to the television studios to boast? On the contrary. At a conference of the Or Yarok traffic safety organization, which took place shortly after the poll’s results were published, she told Israelis that just as there are restrictions on passing on the road, you don’t pass others in politics: “After the Netanyahu era, Bennett must be prime minister.”

No wonder that in an interview with the newspaper Makor Rishon last week, Bennett stressed how proud he was of Shaked and her “spectacular growth.” When asked if he plans to defect to the ruling Likud party to expand his base of support, he said he would remain in Habayit Hayehudi. Shaked, in contrast, told interviewers who wondered where she and Bennett were headed, that “we’re certainly in the party, developing it, growing it.”

Were Shaked not a computer engineer, there would be no reason to pause over her choice of words. But she has absolute control over her words. She’s already willing to reveal her ambitions: She’s not former Likud party minister Limor Livnat; she’s a leader and sees herself as such. At the moment, she’s paired with Bennett. But when the right moment comes, she’ll be No. 1 and a candidate for prime minister.

What she isn’t saying yet is that the race for the Prime Minister’s Office can’t be run from Habayit Hayehudi. She’s a woman, and a secular one to boot; she’s too small for the spiritual heights demanded by that party’s electorate. Moreover, the party itself is both religious and chauvinist; it’s too small for Shaked’s ambitions. But it’s not just that.

Like Netanyahu, Shaked has demonstrated an impressive ability to maneuver between Habayit Hayehudi’s religious Zionist identity and a Likud-style secular conservatism. Like Netanyahu, she’s a secular person who’s close to religious Zionists. Like Netanyahu, she surrounds herself with them.
If Netanyahu has a legacy, then Shaked is his obvious heiress. Shaked’s future lies in Likud, because Shaked is Netanyahu’s natural inheritor, the daughter who will carry on his legacy, the Israeli Ivanka Trump. Is it any wonder that Sara Netanyahu hates her?

August 8, 2017 | 4 Comments »

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  1. Survey of political Right: Who would replace Netanyahu?

    Special poll among 450 Likud and Rightist voters points to Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett with Gideon Sa’ar behind

    Responding to the question of who is most loyal to the Land of Israel 48 percent answered Naftali Bennett, 11 percent Avigdor Liberman, 7 percent Moshe Ya’alon, and 9 percent Gideon Sa’ar.

    Who most reflects the values of the right? Naftali Bennett won 45 percent against Gideon Sa’ar, who won nine percent. 15 percent said Avigdor Liberman, Moshe Ya’alon got only four percent, while eight percent said Yisrael Katz reflects the values of the right.

    The survey examined the respondents’ position on the question of which of the following personalities will most strongly stand against Arab terrorism: 33 percent believe in Naftali Bennett, five percent Gideon Sa’ar, 27 percent Avigdor Liberman, seven percent Moshe Ya’alon, and nine percent Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud).

    Which of the following figures will most likely preserve a united Jerusalem? Sixty percent believe Naftali Bennett, five percent Gideon Sa’ar, 11 percent Avigdor Liberman, five percent Israel Katz, and three percent believe in Ya’alon.

    Who needs to head the right after Netanyahu? Twenty-six percent believe that Naftali Bennett should lead, 20 percent think that Gideon Sa’ar is most fit, 12 percent believe in Ysrael Katz, and five percent believe in Moshe Ya’alon.


  2. Anyone even remotely associated with the local branch of the German “Jewish families” owned New York times, locally known as “ha’atrez”, is automatically set aside by me as inimical to the State of Israel and the US.
    As to Minister Shaked. While I have no natural animosity against the young lady, she is far from being what we at the Jewish Overground see as candidates for the top office in the post Netanyahu era. No one “from within”, anointed or not by the NYT’s is considered.

  3. You make a lot of assumptions, and speculations as facts. That is..apart from the obvious ones which need no mention as we all know them. I’m surprised that you call yourself a writer or journalist. Oh yes, now I see. I just checked who you are and see that you are “qriting\’ for Ha’Aretz…Thsi explains EVERYTHING…in fact you’re even a fraction better than the average Ha”Aretz wanna-be writers; just like you but slightly worse, not enough to tip a scale.

    You should go to a College specialising in Journalism, and learn how to write, and how to marshal facts, first making sure they ARE facts, not assumptions and speculations. If they are the latter, tell the reader that first, before he finds out for himself, as he certainly will. Then after about 5 hard years of SUCCESSFUL study you may be fit to write your first real article.