Merger negotiations between The National Union and Bayit Yehudi have broken down, as both parties seek ways to clear the electoral threshold and not lose votes for the Right.
Bayit Yehudi is searching for new electoral firepower to excite its base and appease party members.
Itamar Ben Gvir, the head of the Otzma Yehudit party, expressed shock at the uproar, telling 103FM that he “doesn’t understand the assault on Rafi Peretz. What, have we turned into Iran?"
Peretz also rejected accusations that his recent unity deal with the far-right Otzma Yehudi party, was designed to preserve his leadership of the religious-Zionist political camp
These demands have come from Bayit Yehudi deputy mayors, municipal council members and local party branch chiefs who have denounced what they describe as an assault on the party’s institutions.
Bayit Yehudi officials said that party leader Rafi Peretz was “continuing to conduct political tricks without people of his party.”
The leaders of the two groups revealed the decision in a joint statement, inviting National Union leader and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich to join the list.
Former Bayit Yehudi leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked tried in vain to make the party more socially liberal and less beholden to the religious-Zionist rabbis.
New Education Minister not impressed with claims of religious brainwashing, adds thousands of hours of Jewish culture and religious studies to curriculum.
Union sets out its stall ahead of the election to topple Netanyahu at all costs, and positions itself as a bloc which will never entertain joining a coalition which Netanyahu heads.