Bayit Yehudi MKs.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Immigrants from English speaking countries are joining Bayit Yehudi en masse, according to statistics submitted to top activists by party director- general Nir Orbach.
Orbach sent the activists a list of the five top groups submitting membership forms online.
Each form allows those registering to allocate a percentage of their membership fee for activities of a particular group within the party.
According to Orbach’s list, the party’s Anglo Forum was chosen second-most, right after the powerful forum of Bayit Yehudi branch heads.
Groups of women and branches in Yehud and Samaria rounded out the top five.
“Anglos who believe in a State of Israel that is both Jewish and democratic, in a Nation of Israel that is working toward uniting our sectors instead of dividing them, in a Torah of Israel that is inclusive and Zionistic, a Land of Israel without a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River and that serving in the Israel Defense Forces and National Service is a core Zionist value have joined our party,” said Bayit Yehudi Anglo Forum chairman Jeremy Saltan.
Saltan said Bayit Yehudi was the only Israeli party that has an Anglo department as mandated by its party constitution.
“I call on all Anglos who share our values to join us,” he said. “Anglos who join now will influence the direction of our party, and if we maintain the current trend, our issues will be at the top of the party agenda.”
When Bayit Yehudi last held a membership drive four years ago, it was nearly enough to catapult American-born candidate Jeremy Gimpel into the Knesset. Gimpel won the 14th slot on a Bayit Yehudi list that ended up winning 12 seats.
The 13th candidate, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, made it into the Knesset for a short time due to the death of minister Uri Orbach, leaving Gimpel next in line.
The Likud is currently holding a membership drive that is competing with that of Bayit Yehudi. Likud activists said now is the time to register for the party because the Likud requires membership of 14 months before members are eligible to vote for the party’s slate of Knesset candidates.
Registering now could allow new Likud members to influence the party’s next Knesset list if it is elected in December 2017 or later.
The Labor Party, which also has primaries, will hold a membership drive ahead of its next leadership race, which is currently set for next summer but could be postponed.
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