Habayit Hayehudi will hold its race for party leader on November 6, despite the US presidential election’s
taking place the same day, retired judge Sarah Frisch, who is overseeing the
former election, decided Wednesday.
Party officials had wanted to shift
the election to a date when it could attract more attention. Habayit Hayehudi’s
election committee decided Tuesday to delay the leadership race to November 13,
the same day the party intends to elect its Knesset slate.
overruled the committee and called its decision illegal and
Frisch’s ruling was a victory for Habayit Hayehudi candidate
Naftali Bennett, the only leadership contender who intends to run for the
Knesset if he loses the leadership race.
Bennett’s associates said
combining the race would have been unfair to him. They blamed rival candidate MK
Zevulun Orlev for trying to use the party’s bureaucracy to his
Orlev wrote a sharply-worded letter to Frisch condemning her
decision. His associates said he was considering legal action against the party
or using the party institutions he controls to block the move.
Hayehudi hired more staff Wednesday to process the membership forms of the
52,000 people who recently joined the party, in order to prepare for the
November 6 primary.
“We are going to be ready, especially now that [Prime
Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu decided to advance the Knesset race,” said Habayit
Hayehudi election committee chairman Daniel Tropper.