Bayit Yehudi director-general Nir Orbach is searching for new ways to choose the party’s leader after its central committee rejected a proposal to have a committee of 13 do it.
Late Thursday night, 61% of the central committee approved Orbach’s proposal to cancel the party primaries, which would also involve the central committee choosing the list instead of the party’s members. However, a two-thirds vote is needed to change Bayit Yehudi’s constitution.
For two days following the vote, Orbach declined to make a statement. When a party spokesman was asked “what’s next?” his response was: “Still unknown.”
However, Bayit Yehudi insiders say Orbach is still hesitant to allow primaries to take place, because they would incur significant costs and the party is millions of shekels in debt.
MK Moti Yogev, who had hoped to run for party leader, said “there are disagreements among friends who want the good of religious Zionism, but thought differently about the how, and maybe also about the whom.
“I believe that we will succeed... and find rules to choose our candidates within a short time,” he stated.
Also Thursday, Bayit Yehudi Anglos leader Jeremy Saltan announced that he is following Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to their New Right Party, which they founded after leaving Bayit Yehudi.
“We need a new right-wing party that is not sectorial, so we can expand the Right bloc and reach right-wing voters who may have shied away from a religious party,” Saltan explained. “I know Naftali and Ayelet personally as genuine and sincere people, and professionally as bulldozers who know how to get things done.”
Saltan said he thinks the New Right “will provide a political home for those who cannot find a solution to their worldviews in Bayit Yehudi.”
During Saltan’s tenure, the Bayit Yehudi Anglo Forum brought thousands of new members into the party, and he was one of the top five membership recruiters. There are 38 Anglo central committee members in Bayit Yehudi, and at least two English outreach programs are offered each year.
Saltan is expected to take on a similar role in the New Right.