Bennett's Yamina Party should stay right-wing - poll

Israeli politicians spin dreidels and politics this Hanukkah and hold numerous events throughout the holiday.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, November 7, 2021.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, November 7, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Yamina’s American pollster presented Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with an 80-page in-depth analysis on the party’s potential voter base two weeks ago, sources in the party revealed.

Among the conclusions by George Birnbaum were that Yamina’s base is still right-wing, and the party should therefore not turn to the Center.

Bennett has devoted very little time to internal politics since becoming prime minister. He is being pressured to return to political activity now that passing the state budget has made it harder to topple his government.

Yamina and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope Party will hold political events during Hanukkah, in an effort to build support and prove their staying power, amid their poor numbers in the polls.

Events will be held during Hanukkah with Yamina leaders and activists in Jerusalem and Ashdod. The Ashdod event is aimed at Russian speakers.

 A HANUKKAH MENORAH on display at the Western Wall. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90) A HANUKKAH MENORAH on display at the Western Wall. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

New Hope will host a convention in Modi’in on Sunday when Sa’ar and other top party figures will speak. All party members are invited.

The Likud will be holding candle-lighting events with MKs all over the country during the holiday, culminating with an event led by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Western Wall on Thursday. There will be Likud Hanukkah events in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Rishon Lezion, Acre, Givat Shmuel, Netanya, Petah Tikva and Kfar Saba.

Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich will be lighting in Jerusalem’s Old City, downtown and in Gush Etzion on Monday.

Labor Party ministers and MKs will also be hosting Hanukkah events, including Gilad Kariv on Monday at Tel Aviv’s Beit Daniel Reform Synagogue, and Nachman Shai in Jerusalem on Wednesday. MK Naama Lazimi will be hosting an event with beer for young Labor activists in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.

Even before the holiday started, politicians drafted Hanukkah terminology to attack their political opponents.

Likud MK Miri Regev called Yamina ministers Ayelet Shaked and Matan Kahana “Hellenizers in the army of Antiochus”; Yamina MK Amichai Chikli called left-wing protesters in Hebron Hellenists; and Shas MK Moshe Abutbul said the current government made him “miss the days of Antiochus.”