Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky earned the dubious distinction of becoming the
first legislator in the 19th Knesset to be the subject of a new police
investigation, according to evidence revealed on Monday by Channel 2 and Yediot
Slomiansky was the big winner in the November 13 Bayit Yehudi
Knesset primary, receiving 18,601 of the 33,312 votes cast. He beat challengers
Ayelet Shaked and Uri Orbach by a wide margin, even though they had the backing
of newly elected party chairman Naftali Bennett and Slomiansky did
But the reports revealed that some of those votes allegedly came
from vote contractors whom Slomiansky paid large sums. Tapes of the vote
contractors explaining how Slomiansky bribed them were submitted to police by
Bennett, who hired private investigator Nisim Garameh to check whether
Slomiansky was using illegal methods against him and his allies.
contractor Avichai Amrusi told Garameh that he registered 4,000 people in Bayit
Yehudi’s membership drive. Amrusi said the costs of the membership fees totaled
some NIS 60,000, but Slomiansky paid NIS 125,000 to his yeshiva and owed him an
“Membership drives are the time to milk politicians,”
Amrusi said on the tape.
Amrusi boasted that some of the money was
delivered by messenger and some was left for him in Marlboro cigarette boxes in
the back of a car in Tel Aviv. He said he was sure he would receive the rest of
the money from Slomiansky because paying for votes is illegal and he had all the information written down about when the latter brought him money and
Amrusi later denied his earlier comments in a video released to
crisis management strategist Roni Rimon, who was hired by
Former Shas Tel Aviv city councilman David Ezra also told
Garameh that Slomiansky paid him NIS 100,000. He said he told the members he
registered to vote for Slomiansky but he ignored Slomiansky’s request to have
his loyalists support then-MK Zevulun Orlev in the party leadership contest
“I told people I don’t care who they vote for in the
leadership race,” Ezra said. “They can write [slain former Hamas mentor Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin for all I care.”
Slomiansky vigorously denied any connection
to the vote contractors, telling Channel 2 that the accusations against him were
nothing but lies spread by his political rivals. He said he had not been
summoned for questioning by police.
“The rumors that I purchased votes in
the primary are delusional,” Slomiansky said. “I have been in politics for 21
years, including nine years in the Knesset, and have never been accused of
anything unclean. Now there are delusional rumors that even the person spreading
them [Amrusi] denies.”
Regarding the timing of the information coming
out, Slomiansky said: “The coalition being built will have positions [in the
This is a time of rumors and gossip.
There are people
who want a post or don’t want me to have a post.”
Slomiansky had been
expected to be chosen by the Bayit Yehudi central committee to receive a cabinet
post if the party joins the coalition.
But Bennett received the central
committee’s permission last week to choose the party’s ministers himself, and he
A Bayit Yehudi official said he was not surprised to see
the accusations against Slomiansky, because the MK did not honor political deals
made with other candidates but still won the primary by a wide
“Slomiansky’s political career is over,” the Bayit Yehudi
“This is a nail in the coffin. I don’t see how Slomiansky
can come back from this.”
A Bayit Yehudi spokesman said: “We support the
efforts of the police and hope they complete the investigation quickly. We will
not tolerate corruption in the party, and we hope the probe finds that no
wrongdoing was done.”
A police spokesman said the matter was being vetted
to see whether to open a formal investigation.
Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi
negotiators met with Likud Beytenu representatives for coalition talks for the
second night in a row late on Monday.
Both sides reported progress in the
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