(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MK Orit Struck succeeded in accomplishing far more for right-wing causes that any other Bayit Yehudi MK in the outgoing Knesset, according to a comprehensive study taken by the right-wing organization Mattot Arim that was released Saturday night.
The organization counted achievements by the 12 Bayit Yehudi MKs on right-wing issues such as security, public diplomacy, fighting terror, nationalist legislation, promoting Jewish worship on the Temple Mount, and advancing construction in Judea and Samaria.
Mattot Arim counted 133 achievements for Struck, 90 for Construction Minister Uri Ariel, 86 for Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, and 79 for faction head Ayelet Shaked.
The least effective Bayit Yehudi MKs for the Right, according to the study, were Deputy education minister Avi Wortzman with only 23 achievements and Pensioners Affairs Minister Uri Orbach with 28.
Many of Struck's accomplishments came as head of the Knesset's Land of Israel lobby.
The study came on the eve of a meeting in Jerusalem of the 110-member National Union central committee that will decide who will receive the four slots allocated to the National Union on Bayit Yehudi's list for the March 17 election. National Union candidates will be placed in the 2nd, 9th, 14th, and 18th slots, according to a deal reached with Bayit Yehudi.
The candidates seen as most likely to win the slots are Ariel, Struck, Kalfa, the Tekuma party’s former director-general Nachi Eyal, and Bezalel Smotrich, director of Regavim, an advocacy organization aimed at protecting national land.
The rest of the Bayit Yehudi list will be decided in a hotly contested primary Wednesday in which 77,000 party members will choose among 42 candidates.
Uri Bank, who is one of three American-born candidates running in the race, received endorsements over the weekend from Shaked and Orbach, which joined the endorsement he had already received from Bennett. The other US-born candidates are Yossi Fuchs and Chani Luz. There is also a South African-born candidate, Ze'ev Schwartz.
Jeremy Gimpel, who was the American-born candidate in the last Bayit Yehudi primary, said Saturday night that he was conditioning the support of some 3000 Anglos in the party on changing a law that gives jurisdiction over divorce to either the Rabbinate or a civil court, whichever is sought first.
Gimpel said the so-called "race for jurisdiction" encourages divorce by giving an incentive to a husband or wife to run to whichever body they believe would be more in their favor. If they go to the courts, lawyers encourage their clients to write negative claims against their spouse, which ends any chance of saving the marriage.
"According to the current legal structure, thousands of couples have gotten divorced who otherwise may not have," Gimpel said. "The system that there is today entices people to jump the gun and secure jurisdiction. That incentive to get divorced can be fixed and must be stopped."
Gimpel said candidates who agreed to change the system included Orbach, Shaked, Wortzman, Mordechai Yogev, Nisan Slomiansky, Bank, Fuchs, Schwartz, and Amiad Taub. Candidates who were unwilling were deputy religious affairs minister Eli Ben-Dahan and MK Shuli Moalem.