Yahad Ha’am Itanu.
(photo credit: YAHAD HA'AM ITANU)
Baruch Marzel, the rightwing activist who is on the No. 4 spot for Yahad, said on Saturday night that if his ban on running for the Knesset is not overturned by the Supreme Court he might not endorse the party.
Marzel belongs to the Otzma Yehudit party that united it’s electoral list with the Yahad party led by Eli Yishai, but the Central Election’s Committee banned the him from running for Knesset last week due to his past affiliation with the far-right Kach party.
The problem for Otzma is that the candidate occupying the No. 5 spot on the joint Yahad-Otzma list, Sasson Trebalsi, who would inherit the No. 4 post if Marzel’s disqualification is upheld, is a Yahad party member.
Occupying the sixth spot is Rabbi Amital Bareli, an Otzma candidate, but polls show that the Yahad-Otzma list will likely take four Knesset seats and the chances of gaining five are relatively slim.
An appeal hearing in the Supreme Court against Marzel’s ban is scheduled for Tuesday.
Speaking on the Galei Yisrael radio Saturday night, Marzel said that if his disqualification is upheld he and Otzma would have to consider whether or not to endorse Yahad.
“We’re in a technical bloc,” said Marzel, the euphemism the parties have used to express the fact that they united simply to guarantee that both would pass the electoral threshold and not for any close political affinity.
“Will I support Eli Yishai? We’ll see, we’ll see how things work out,” he said. “I do not decide things alone. We have a secretariat and a board and rabbis, and whatever they decide we will do.”
Marzel explicitly outlined what the implication of “technical bloc” is for the joint list, stating that Otzma is highly unlikely to be part of a Netanyahu government given the party’s antipathy for even entering into peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian prisoner releases or any hindrance to settlement building in the West Bank.
“A technical bloc means we [Otzma] intend to remain in the opposition,” he said, whereas Yishai has said he will support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next coalition.
“I’m not sure I can support a Netanyahu government from inside in any case. In order to vote [for Yahad] we need complete ideological affinity and to know that I’m voting for someone who will not sit in a government that releases terrorists, [and] will not sit in a government [that will support] two states for two peoples,” Marzel said.