Rabbi David Stav370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Tzohar.)
Senior figures in the Bayit Yehudi party have voiced their irritation with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for failing to back Rabbi David Stav for the
position of Ashkenazi chief rabbi in the upcoming elections.
not yet endorsed a candidate despite the fact that all other coalition partners
have publicy backed Stav.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
week, Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett said however that he does not see
the issue threatening the stability of the coalition, although he said he was
unsurprised that senior Netanyahu adviser Natan Eshel is reportedly mustering
support for Rabbi David Lau, another candidate for the position.
this week Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi)
suggested that for Likud to back anyone other than Stav would constitute a
violation of the coalition agreement.
A clause in this agreement does in
fact state that representatives of the coalition parties on the 150-member
electoral committee for the chief rabbi must be coordinated between Likud and
Bayit Yehudi, but the extent of that stipulation is unclear.
close to Bennett was more forthright in objecting to Likud’s failure to endorse
“What do agreements mean to Bibi?” the Bayit Yehudi party official
“It’s a principle of his not to honor agreements.”
spokeswoman said that her party interprets the coalition agreement differently
and sees no violation, adding that she doubted the Likud would endorse a
However, Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said that she believes there
is a majority in the faction in support of Stav and she intends to push for a
vote on the issue next week.
Stav himself addressed the issue on
Thursday, when asked about the lack of support for him from the Prime Minister’s
Speaking at the President’s Conference, Stav said that he
believed many Likud MKs would back him either publicly or
Meanwhile, there is still no word from Rabbi Yitzhak David
Grossman, the chief rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek in the North, as to whether or not
he intends to run. It is understood that the United Torah Judaism party would
most likely support Grossman – a Pinsk-Karlin hassid – if he chooses to run,
since he would have widespread support from religious and non-religious members
of the electoral committee alike, and would stand the best chance of any haredi
rabbi to beat Stav.
Rabbi David Lau has said however that he will be
staying in the race regardless of which other candidates put themselves forward.