Labor activist: Bayit Yehudi acts against Jewish values, name is misleading

Petition comes after Bayit Yehudi candidate had petitioned Central Election Committee to disqualify Labor-Hatnua from using its Hebrew name "The Zionist Camp."

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January 25, 2015 14:00
2 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Nafatali Bennett votes in Bayit Yehudi primary. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Bayit Yehudi Party’s name, which translates to “Jewish Home,” is false advertising, because the party does not represent Jewish values, a political adviser to MK Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) wrote in a petition to the Central Elections Committee on Sunday.

“Bayit Yehudi’s name misleads the public and makes innocent citizens think that Bayit Yehudi represents Jewish values and is a home for those who believe in our religion’s values, and that is not true,” the petition reads.

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Yaya Fink, who works for Yacimovich, led a group of religious Zionists who submitted the petition, saying that Bayit Yehudi claims to represent religious Zionism, but acts against its values.

Fink gave several examples of what he called “anti-Jewish” actions by Bayit Yehudi, including reports that Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel sold homes meant for public housing to yeshivot and religious-Zionist organizations, which he said goes against helping the poor, and that Bayit Yehudi did not pay suppliers and people who worked for the party, which is opposed to the biblical commandment not to delay payments.

The Labor activist also pointed out that Bezalel Smotrich, a candidate in Tekuma, a party running on the Bayit Yehudi list, organized an “animal parade” to take place during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in 2006, which Fink said goes against the Jewish prohibition against embarrassing people in public.

Smotrich said in response to recent reports about him organizing the parade that he regrets having done so.

Fink wrote that Bayit Yehudi MK Motti Yogev’s remark last week that residents of Gaza border towns who supported the disengagement “blew it” when they complained about their security situation, violates the biblical prohibition against taking revenge.

Yogev apologized for his statement shortly after making it.

Last week, Bayit Yehudi candidate Ronen Shoval petitioned the Central Elections Committee to disqualify the Labor-Hatnua list from using its Hebrew name, “the Zionist Camp.”

Shoval’s complaint came after Bayit Yehudi released images of people on the Labor list with quotes that they found questionable, without context, and he used the quotes in his complaint. Likud MKs have also used them to attack the other party.

For example, they quote Labor-Hatnua candidate Zouheir Bahloul as saying “our Palestinian identity is stronger than the Israeli one.” MK Stav Shaffir’s quote is taken from a book on the 2011 social protests, of which she was a leader, which said she called “Hatikvah” a racist song. MK Merav Michaeli was quoted as saying in an Army Radio interview that mothers should not send their sons to the army as long as the “occupation” continues.

Bayit Yehudi used several quotes for candidate Yossi Yona, including “I don’t connect to this word, Zionism. It doesn’t express who I am” and “Yom Hashoa and Nakba Day should be on the same day.”

Shoval wrote to the committee that “it is clear that it would be defrauding voters for them to run with the word ‘Zionist’ in their party name, and that is unacceptable.

Just as [Balad MK] Haneen Zoabi would not run in a list called ‘Supporting IDF Soldiers,’ and that would be immediately rejected, thus Buji [Isaac Herzog], Tzipi [Livni], Michaeli, Yona Shafir, etc. should be treated.

“The truth must be told to the public and the truth will decide. That is how it is in democracy, even if it is unpleasant for the Left,” he added.


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