Naftali Bennett, a former adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
announced Monday that he is joining Habayit Hayehudi and will run for the party
Bennett, a former director-general of the Council of Jewish
Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, formed the Yisraelim party two
weeks ago and would have run with it had an election been held September 4 as
planned at the time.
But because the election was not advanced, Bennett
decided he had enough time to build himself up in an existing party.
message he released on YouTube and Facebook, Bennett, 40, called upon young
persons of all religious backgrounds to join Habayit Hayehudi’s membership
drive, which ends in August ahead of the September 4 leadership race. Bennett
will face off in the race against MKs Zevulun Orlev and Daniel Herschkowitz, the
“Our goal is to unite the entire Zionist community under one
umbrella: religious, traditional and secular,” Bennett said.
complained that religious Zionists have an impact on many fields in Israeli
society but not in the Knesset. He said, for instance, that they did not succeed
in stopping the 10- month construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria in 2009
Former IDF chief rabbi Brig.- Gen. (res) Avichai Ronsky will
join Bennett as a Knesset candidate in Habayit Hayehudi. Bennett said the only
way to guarantee the future influence of religious Zionists was to reach out to
non-religious Zionists and join them in building a large party.
time for religious Zionists to run the country,” he said.
“We should not
be the kashrut supervisors of the country. We should be its
Orlev issued a statement praising Bennett’s decision to run
with Habayit Hayehudi, rather than against it. He called upon more young people
to join the party.
Uri Orbach, an MK in the party, has called a press
conference for Tuesday at the Knesset to announce his own political future.