Nat'l religious parties deny harming Netanyahu's chances
Likud head can be as 'dangerous' as Livni if not kept in check, National Union candidate warns.
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
The national religious camp insisted Monday that it was not hurting Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu's chances of being elected prime minister in Tuesday's elections, pledging both to support him in forming a new government and to keep him in check regarding any further territorial withdrawals.
The remarks were an indication that some right-wing voters may be returning to the Likud amid concern over a tie or a victory by Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, after a slew of final pre-election polls showed that the Likud's once double-digit lead over Kadima had narrowed down to a mere two to three seats.
"There is no need to worry that a vote for us will hurt Netanyahu, because we will support his candidacy for prime minister and strengthen his government," said Moshe Inbar, a spokesman for Habayit Hayehudi.
He said there was "no need" to worry that Netanyahu wouldn't become prime minister, since the right-wing bloc would have a majority in the Knesset, making him the preferred candidate after the elections.
Meanwhile, a candidate running on the National Union Party list said Monday that Netanyahu could be just as "dangerous" for the country as Livni, and that a strong showing was needed on his Right to keep him in check.
"Based on our past experience with him, Netanyahu can be just as dangerous to the integrity of the Land of Israel as Livni," said Uri Bank, a US native who is No. 5 on the National Union list. "It is very important that we are in a position where Netanyahu needs us and we will be able to affect the guidelines of his government and policies."
On the eve of the elections, the leaders of the National Union ended the campaign where they began: in the unauthorized West Bank outpost of Migron, where they planted trees for Tu Bishvat.
"This is the Zionist answer to the continuing drizzle of Grad and Kassam [rockets]," the party said in a statement.
The party leaders' other public event Monday was at the Western Wall.
The two right-wing parties failed in their attempt to unite ahead of the elections, but despite their public falling-out, they have suggested they might join forces after the race. Their disunity prompted longtime right-wing leader Rabbi Benny Elon to announce he was temporarily stepping down from politics after 12 years in the Knesset.
Public opinion polls have shown that the National Union will garner between three and six seats, while Habayit Hayehudi is expected to gain between two and four.
In the last elections, the National Union and the National Religious Party received nine Knesset seats by running on a joint list, a number they are struggling to sustain following the recent break between the two parties.
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