Israeli Elections: Netanyahu is urging parties in his bloc to swear allegiance

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on three parties in his political bloc to sign an oath that they will support the formation of the next government, Likud officials said Tuesday, a month before the March 23 election.

During previous elections, Netanyahu on Shas, United Torah Judaism (UTJ) and Yamina have signed such an oath. This time, he has called on Shas, UTJ and the Zionist Religious Party. They all agreed.
The purpose of the oath is to prevent Netanyahu’s allies from negotiating with Gideon Sa’ar or Naftali Bennett to form the government.
“An haredim [ultra-Orthodox] have turned their backs on Sa’ar, ”a Likud source said. “They have promised to support Netanyahu only.”
Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Zionist Party, signed a shorter oath of support for Netanyahu to the prime minister and voted not to support any other candidate. The document contained several clauses signed by English leader Arye Deri and UTJ leaders Moshe Gafni and Ya’acov Litzman.
“Voting for any other party will bring the Left to power under Yair Lapid,” the document they signed said. “We urge the public to vote for us and not to lose access to a just government.”
Sa’ar unveiled a new plan for the development of the city of Jerusalem on Tuesday. The plan promises to create 70,000 new, diversified employment opportunities in the city and build 40,000 new housing units in Jerusalem within 10 years. He also called for construction in the city across the border before 1967.

“A government led by me in Givat will build Hamatos, in Atarot, and by working and building in Jerusalem, we will ensure that the Jewish majority of Jerusalem and our future will be in the capital Israel through the generations, “said Sa’ar next to Jerusalem City Councilor Ofer Berkovitch, who is a candidate of the New Hope Party.

“In the last 12 years where Netanyahu has been prime minister, the Jewish majority in Jerusalem has declined,” he said. “This is due to Netanyahu’s freeze in construction and cessation of construction in the neighborhoods identified for construction on the east side of Jerusalem.”