Bayit Yehudi and National Union close to unity agreement

Although tension between Bayit Yehudi and Otzmah continues to run high, senior officials in the former have said that a unity deal with the latter is still very much possible.

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July 4, 2019 18:59
1 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi and National Union close to unity agreement

Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the recently elected chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party. (photo credit: BAYIT YEHUDI)

The Bayit Yehudi and National Union are advancing toward an agreement to run on a joint ticket in the upcoming elections, amid reports that Bayit Yehudi leader and Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz has vetoed candidates from the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party.

Although tension between Bayit Yehudi and Otzma continues to run high, senior officials in the former have said that a unity deal with the latter is still very much possible.

Officials from both Bayit Yehudi and National Union have said from the outset that the first step was to form a joint list between Bayit Yehudi and National Union as two natural partners, and then discuss other possible unions, as indeed happened before the last elections.

Otzma officials have complained bitterly as of late that Peretz has reneged on previous agreements and treated the ultra-nationalist party poorly, with Otzma even announcing an end to its cooperation with Bayit Yehudi during the current temporary government, although stopped short of ruling out a joint run in the coming election.

In response to a report in Yediot Aharonot on Thursday morning that Peretz has demanded that two senior Otzma members, Baruch Marzel and Bentzi Gopstein, be excluded from a joint party list, Otzma accused Bayit Yehudi of being “rude, patronizing and arrogant.”

Officials in the party also mocked Peretz for his “fantasy negotiations,” and said that given recent polls predicting just four or five seats for a joint Bayit Yehudi-National Union-Otzma list, Bayit Yehudi was worth just one and a half seats by itself and was on the verge of collapse.

Bayit Yehudi MK Eli Ben-Dahan said, however, that even the latest round of recriminations did not mean that a unity agreement with Otzma would not happen.

“There are a certain tensions, but there is not such a terrible divide that cannot be healed,” Ben-Dahan said.



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