(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Now that Labor has become more cohesive and Kadima is working on settling its
internal problems, the Knesset faction that seems to be the most divided is the
religious- Zionist Habayit Hayehudi.
The Knesset’s legal adviser, Eyal
Yinon, decided on Monday that millions of shekels in funding for Habayit
Hayehudi had been illegally transferred to a bank account controlled by the
faction when it should have gone to the National Religious Party that Habayit
Habayit Hayehudi’s chairman, Science and Technology
Minister Daniel Herschkowitz, and faction chairman MK Uri Orbach said they have
a rival, legal ruling that says the bank account they formed represents the
But when Habayit Hayehudi was formed, the National Religious
Party’s institutions were supposed to be dissolved, but it never happened, and
Habayit Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev continues to function as chairman of the
They expressed hope that they could persuade Yinon to change his
mind, but said they would be willing to go to court if necessary.
held a convention on Tuesday in Moshav Nehalim east of Petah Tikva and decided
to begin a membership drive and elect new institutions.
Orbach boycotted the session, which Herschkowitz said had no legal standing. He
released a letter complaining that Orlev was a “serial toppler of party leaders”
after unseating former NRP heads Effi Eitam and Yitzhak Levy.
he was concerned that Orlev would use the drive to dominate the party and work
But Orlev said the drive would be fair and that his two
faction colleagues should participate.
Orlev said important steps were
taken at the convention to unite religious Zionism and open the ranks to new
people ahead of the next election. He said the financial dispute was resolved in
his favor and that if the matter went to court he has no doubt he would emerge
MKs Herschkowitz and Orbach would legally be able to split
the faction, but they said they would not even if the dispute were to escalate,
because they would legally be required to assume two thirds of the party’s NIS
30 million debt.
“If you find me NIS 20m., maybe we could split it,”