News analysis

Prime Minister Netanyahu's former chief of staff holds balance of power

Mrs Ayelet Shaked was considered the great hope of the Israeli Right. But in the parliamentary elections, her party failed to overcome the percentage threshold. Another politician will become Israel's most important power broker.

Fans loved her, rivals feared her: For the past four years, Justice Minister Shaked was one of the most prominent and determined voices of Israel's right-wing camp. The Prime Minister's former office director was so popular that many even considered her to be Mr Benjamin Netanyahu's potential successor. But her meteoric rise became a flight of Icarus after serious strategic mistakes and Mrs Shaked's party, which was formed to establish her and her political partner, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, as Mr Netanyahu's equals failed to muster the minimum number of votes needed to enter Israel's Parliament after 97 per cent of the ballot was counted.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'PM's former chief of staff holds balance of power'. Print Edition | Subscribe