Habayit Hayehudi leadership contenders Naftali Bennett, Daniel Herschkowitz and
Zevulun Orlev might not have to try to share the spotlight with American
presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney after all.
Hayehudi’s election committee mistakenly set the party’s leadership race for
November 6, the same date that a much-more publicized election will take place
for president of the United States.
Party officials admitted that when
the committee set the date, they were unaware that the US election was that
The election committee will meet Tuesday night to vote on a proposal
to delay the leadership race from November 6 to 13 and an election for the
party’s Knesset slate from November 13 to 20. The official reason for the
proposed delay was that the company in charge of compiling Habayit Hayehudi’s
membership rolls had not completed its work.
The election committee’s
chairman, Rabbi Daniel Tropper, is using the opportunity to repair his
“It’s obvious that the race has to be postponed,”
“We need coverage for our election to build up our party
and we can’t get that on the day of the election in the US. We also need to
postpone the election by a week to make sure to work out mistakes and ensure the
election will be fair.”
Tropper said Habayit Hayehudi expected 30,000
people to join the party in its membership drive, but 52,000 joined, including
25,000 on the last day of the drive. He said the much larger numbers required
more time to handle.
Complicating matters, all three candidates are
trying to use the delay for their own political benefit. Orlev wants the races
for party leader and Knesset slate to both be held on November 13, but Bennett
and Herschkowitz both vigorously oppose such a step and Herschkowitz has even
threatened legal action against the party he heads.
“Changing the rules
of the game a month before the election is unfathomable,” Herschkowitz wrote
Tropper. “The rules that were set made sense and were the basis for how the
candidates. We will use all means necessary to prevent
Herschkowitz said he did not oppose delaying both races by a week
for technical reasons, but he said he would not accept what he called “Orlev’s
He said Orlev was “justifiably concerned about
losing. Orlev said that without holding both elections on the same day,
he would oppose delaying either race.
“People made plans and new dates
should not be chosen,” his spokesman said.
Bennett’s campaign manager
said Bennett was “completely against any change in dates of the elections or any