Watchdog calls to probe Bayit Yehudi voter fraud

'Ometz' appeals to A-G to open investigation into whether Bennett had haredi men registered as party members to win votes.

By
March 4, 2013 01:35
1 minute read.
Accompanied by the media, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett votes in Ra'anana, January 22, 2013.

Bennett voting 22.1.13 . (photo credit: Reuters/Nir Elias)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Ometz watchdog organization appealed to the Attorney-General’s Office on Sunday to open an investigation into whether Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett had hundreds of haredi men registered as party members so that they would vote for him in Bayit Yehudi’s primary leadership election.

The request follows an investigation broadcast on Friday night by Channel 1 that alleged that Bennett, or someone on his behalf, gave cash payments to representatives of the Kretshnif hassidic dynasty to vote for Bennett in the party primary.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Ometz claimed that if the allegations were true, it would constitute a violation of the 1992 Parties Law prohibiting the payment of party membership dues for another person, or any other payments, in return for votes in internal elections and is punishable by a year’s imprisonment.

Bennett’s office strongly denied the accusations.

“Naftali Bennett did not give and will not give anything in exchange for support, not to the hassidic dynasty in question and not to anyone else,” a spokesman for the Bayit Yehudi leader said in a statement to the press.

He also said that it was possible that the registration of members of the Kretshnif community were registered as Bayit Yehudi members by party officials in Rehovot, where the Kretshnif headquarters is located, for reasons of municipal politics.

The spokesman said that if those who registered as party members had not voted for the party in the general election such activity was “unacceptable.”



He added that the party called for any information on illegal primary activities to be immediately turned over to the legal authorities.

Approximately 350 Kretshnif hassidim in Rehovot registered as Bayit Yehudi members before the primary election. The Srugim news website reported that the unusual registration of so many haredi men as members of the national-religious party could have been part of a plan to promote the candidacy of one of the party officials in the city for chairmanship of Bayit Yehudi’s Rehovot branch, as well as for the coming municipal elections at the end of the year.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN