Habayit Hayehudi membership drive disappoints
Leadership candidate Bennett’s underachieving energizes Habayit Hayehudi rivals; only 7,000 people have joined party online.
Naftali Bennet, new director-general of the Counci Photo: Courtesy
Only around 7,000 people have joined Habayit Hayehudi online since the party
began a well-publicized membership drive four months ago, an objective source in
the party’s administration revealed this week.
leadership candidates Naftali Bennett, Daniel Herschkowitz and Zevulun Orlev
have each been registering as many members as possible using paper forms, which
they will bring to the party’s headquarters on the last day of the drive,
But only Bennett, who has been perceived as the
front-running candidate, has been registering members online, and he boasted at
the beginning of the drive that he would register a massive number of members.
His close ally Ayelet Shaked, who runs the online group Israel Sheli, was quoted
as saying in May that “even if only 10,000 help my campaign, that would be
Hershkowitz and sources close to Orlev expressed
satisfaction with the disappointing number for Bennett.
“Bennett made it
sound like his support was unlimited,” Herschowitz said.
associates promised to surprise and defeat Bennett in the November 6
While a source in Bennett’s campaign admitted to be
disappointed in the numbers, he himself expressed optimism.
going very well,” Bennett said. I have been surprised by young people who never
thought they would vote for Habayit Hayehudi who are becoming members. I won't
go into numbers, but we are on track.”
In good news for Bennett, he
received an endorsement on Thursday from Maj.-Gen. (res) Moshe Peled, a former
deputy education minister for Habayit Hayehudi’s forerunner, the National
Religious Party, and a founder of the National Union.