danny hershkowitz 248 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The radicalized young settlement activists known as "hilltop youth" desecrate the name of religious Zionism, MKs from Habayit Hayehudi said at a Knesset news conference to launch their election campaign on Monday.
"Hilltop youth and [Kach adherent and new National Union supporter Baruch] Marzel, those who throw rocks at soldiers, and those who refuse IDF orders are not a part of religious Zionism," MK Zevulun Orlev said.
"They desecrate religious Zionism, they desecrate the crocheted kippot on their heads. We have to strengthen the State of Israel. That is what religious Zionism is about.
"We as religious Zionists believe that the establishment of the State of Israel represents the beginning of the process of heavenly redemption. Therefore, we do everything we can to protect and defend the State of Israel," he said.
The attack was directed at the National Union, which will be Habayit Hayehudi's main competitor for the religious Zionist vote in the campaign for the 18th Knesset.
Orlev and others in Habayit Hayehudi made an effort to distinguish themselves from the NU and claimed to be the legitimate representatives of religious Zionism.
Habayit Hayehudi's chairman, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, joined Orlev in his attack on the NU.
"It is ironic that members of Hatikva do not sing the national anthem of the same name," Hershkowitz said, implying that the secular party within the NU was not truly Zionist.
When asked if Habayit Hayehudi would be willing to sit in a government coalition with Kadima, a party that advocates territorial compromise as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Hershkowitz said no.
"Everyone knows that the Likud will form the next government. And we see ourselves in a coalition with the Likud," he said.
At the beginning of his remarks, Hershkowitz urged the government to continue the military operation in the Gaza strip.
"We must not be misled by any signs of a temporary lull [in Gazan attacks]," he said.
Habayit Hayehudi's candidates list:
1) Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, a mathematician at the Israel Institute of Technology-Technion and the rabbi of Haifa's Ahuza neighborhood.
2) Zevulun Orlev, former chairman of the National Religious Party.
3) Uri Orbach, a commentator for Yediot Aharonot and Army Radio.
4) Sar-Shalom Jerby, former secretary general of the NRP.
5) Liora Minka, chairwoman of the Emunah women's religious Zionist organization
6) Shella Shorshan, a resident of Kfar Adumim and a former Gush Katif resident whose husband was killed by terrorists.
7) Dr. Avraham Nagosa, an Ethiopian activist who has a doctorate in educational philosophy.
8) Rabbi Dr. Ofir Cohen, formerly of Kfar Darom who is now the head of the Garin Torani social outreach group in Ashkelon.
9) Elyashiv Reichner, a journalist at Makor Rishon, Nekuda and NRG/Yahadut, and an educator.
Before NU broke from Habayit Hayehudi, public opinion surveys gave the party 5 to 6 Knesset seats.