Rabbi Elon turns down leadership offer

Respected educator was asked to lead joint right wing list for next Knesset.

benny elon 298.88 (photo credit: [file])
benny elon 298.88
(photo credit: [file])
Rabbi Mordechai "Motti" Elon has turned down an offer to lead a joint right wing voting bloc for the next Knesset, Army Radio reported on Thursday. National Religious Party leader Zevulun Orlev asked Elon to lead both his party and the National Union, so that the two can form a joint list. Sources in the National Union blamed Orlev for torpedoing the move by informing the press of the offer. NRP officials said in response that Orelv went public with the proposal after receiving the green light to do so by Rabbi Elon. The request came after both parties failed to come to an agreement that would allow them to campaign on a joint list. Leadership of the list is among the sticking points between the two parties. The National Union wants to see its party leader Benny Elon at the helm of a joint list, while the NRP is asking that such a decision be based on professionally done polls. It has also suggested an alternative candidate. In hopes of breaking the stalemate between the two parties, on Tuesday night, Orlev turned to Motti Elon in writing and asked that he consider leading the two parties. He noted that he had never wanted his own personal placement on the list to get in the way of unifying the two parties. "I'm convinced that this effort by the NRP to advance efforts to unify the religious Zionist camp can be successful," said Orlev. Elon is well respected as an educator among both the religious and traditional communities, said Orlev. He added that he had no doubt that putting Elon at the top of a joint list would turn into "a large political" and relevant home that could influence issues such as education, the state's Jewish identity and the reduction of social gaps within Israeli society. The National Union said it also supported the measure and had made the suggestion some three weeks ago.