(photo credit: ULPANEI REHOVOT)
The Bayit Yehudi central committee will convene in Yad Binyamin Tuesday to approve a new party constitution that will take away some powers from party leader Naftali Bennett.
Activists in the party want more power for themselves and to punish Bennett for leading the party from 12 seats to eight in last year’s election. He also earned the wrath of the activists with his ill-fated choices of soccer star Eli Ohana and journalist Yinon Magal for his reserved slots on the party’s Knesset list. Magal resigned from the Knesset, due to sexual harassment allegations, and Ohana ended up not running because of an outcry against him within the party.
Bennett’s power to select his own candidates for the party’s Knesset list will be halved, according to the proposed constitution, which was drafted by a committee led by former National Religious Party head Yitzhak Levy. If approved, an election would then be held in the committee for new members of party institutions that were bolstered at Bennett’s expense.
The election is seen as a test of Bennett’s authority in the party. There are several Bennett critics running in the elections who could make it more difficult for him to run the party if they win.
Among the candidates for the party’s presidential committee are former MK Gila Finkelstein, Zomet Institute for the interface of halacha and technology director Rabbi Yisrael Rozen, and the head of the party’s English-speaking division, Jeremy Saltan.