Naftali Bennett at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett on Friday called for détente within the fractious right-wing-nationalist camp in anticipation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election next month.
The charismatic Bennett, whose stewardship of the religious-nationalist Bayit Yehudi party has generated significant buzz and headlines these past two years, posted a status on Facebook urging Likudniks to stop criticizing his faction and instead focus on taking votes away from the center-left factions.
“My brothers in Likud, hold your fire,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page. “Let’s bring votes from [the left-wing camp].”
“The president has already stated that he will assign the task of forming the next government to the head of the largest parliamentary bloc, as is stipulated by law,” the Bayit Yehudi chief wrote. “I hereby announce that we will support Benjamin Netanyahu for the premiership (as we did the previous time) and he will be the next prime minister. Period.”
“My brothers in Likud, the campaign against us is unnecessary,” he wrote. “Our goal now should be to bring votes from the rival camp. You can do it, and we can do it.”
Bennett’s post was a reaction to recent Likud overtures to religious-Zionist voters, campaign gimmicks “that do not help our camp.”
“My brothers and sisters, I promise that after the elections I will be your faithful messenger for the Land of Israel, the nation of Israel, and the Torah of Israel,” Bennett wrote.