Atlanta-native Jeremy Gimpel, who fell short of his goal of entering the Knesset, pledged on Saturday night to continue serving Israel despite a campaign that ended with him being accused of supporting blowing up the Temple Mount.

Support for Bayit Yehudi fell following a video broadcast last Friday that showed Gimpel appearing to back blowing up the Dome of the Rock, but he later said the clip was a parody on the fanatics who want to do so – taken out of context from a Bible class on the Book of Ezra that he delivered to Christian supporters of Israel in Florida.

Bayit Yehudi won 12 seats in Tuesday’s election. Gimpel was 14th on the party’s list.

“Anything that is worth achieving will always be a struggle and we hope to prevail,” Gimpel said. “The name Israel means to struggle with man and with God and prevail. We will continue working for Israel wherever Hashem sends us.”

Gimpel said he was not sure about the next move in his political career. He said he would take time off before building a battle plan. Meanwhile, he said he was happy that Maryland-born Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) was entering the Knesset.

In a letter sent to Gimpel’s supporters on Friday, his business and political partner Ari Abramowitz boasted about the “rock star treatment” Gimpel had received in communities in Judea and Samaria and wrote that Bayit Yehudi representatives had told them that if the party’s primary were to be held now Gimpel would be a “walk in” ranking among the highest in the party.

“I think that many feel protective of Jeremy, recognizing the importance of protecting him from such a shameless smear campaign,” Abramowitz wrote. “To be fair, the language and imagery [both for the Dome of the Rock and the church references] were both poorly spoken and regrettable, but the message of the excitement about a Third Temple and a peaceful coexistence with the nations of the world will continue to grow and resonate around Israel and the world,” he said.

Abramowitz said that Bayit Yehudi becoming the fourth largest party in the Knesset after being disregarded was a reason to celebrate, even though hopes were higher.

As for the the hopes of Gimpel and Abramowitz to enter the Knesset in the future, Abramowitz wrote: “We’re 33 years old. We’re just getting started!”

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