Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett received a political boost on Monday when the Jerusalem District Court ruled that his former rival Zevulun Orlev could not run for the city council in the capital.
The Jerusalem branch of the party voted for a slate of candidates led by Orlev, while the Bayit Yehudi faction decided on a list led by Dov Kalmanovich, who has led local nonprofit organizations.
The court decided that the faction, and not the branch, had the right to choose the candidates.
“We are happy about the court’s decision, but this is not a time to celebrate,” a party spokesman said. “This is the time to get to work on winning as many seats as we can in the election.”
However, a Bayit Yehudi source close to Bennett insulted Orlev and called it “embarrassing” that he “succeeded in losing even to Kalmanovich.”
Following Kalmanovich on Bayit Yehudi’s list of candidates will be current city council member Herzl Yehezkel, an unnamed woman, and Bennett’s former political adviser Raz Kiel. Bayit Yehudi officials have until Tuesday to decide who the woman will be, as haredi candidate Rachel Ivenboim pulled out after receiving threats.
The religious Zionist website Kippa reported that one of the women under consideration for the slot is former MK Elyakim Ha’etzni’s granddaughter Sarah Ha’etzni, who runs the right-wing group Israel Sheli. Bayit Yehudi officials offered a slot on the list to former Jerusalem Post staffer and Saskatchewan native Talia Dekel, who was formerly active in the right-wing group Im Tirtzu, but she turned down the post.
All parties must submit their candidate lists by midnight Tuesday. Municipal races will take place October 22 in more than 100 local authorities nationwide.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has made an effort ahead of the deadline to prevent the secular vote in the Jerusalem City Council race from being spread among too many parties, some of which will not pass the electoral threshold. To that end, he persuaded socioeconomic activist Danny Monderer and his Hitchadshut B’Yerushalayim (Renewal in Jerusalem) list to quit the race.
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