Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett called on Thursday for a meeting of his
party’s central committee in Jerusalem next Wednesday, in an attempt to expand
his authority in the party.
Currently, the central committee votes on the
Bennett will ask the central committee to allow him to
select ministers and bring them to the committee for approval.
Yehudi is expected to receive three ministers if it joins Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s government. One is reserved for Bennett and one for MK Uri
Ariel, the head of Bayit Yehudi’s Tekuma faction.
The third is expected
to be contested by MKs Nisan Slomiansky, Uri Orbach and Avi Wortzman.
the central committee chooses the minister, Slomiansky is expected to win,
because he has a strong following among veteran party activists and won the most
votes in the race for the party’s Knesset candidates list in November. But
Bennett is expected to nominate Orbach instead.
Bennett also intends to
ask the central committee to guarantee that party chairmen will continue to be
elected in primaries in which all of Bayit Yehudi’s members can vote and to
allow him to appoint one of his loyalists as the party’s
Critics of Bennett in the party said he would face
stiff opposition, especially if a top official in the party protests his
But former MK Zevulun Orlev, who lost the Bayit Yehudi
leadership race to Bennett, does not intend to get involved. Slomiansky did not
respond by press time.