Ichud Leumi Chairman Minister Uri Ariel referred to the joint running of his party with Bayit Yehudi in the next elections, saying that he has been trying to discuss the matter with Bayit Yehudi leader Minister Naftali Bennett for two and a half years, but has not been answered.
“You ask me if we want to run together in the next elections, the answer is yes. We will run together and on condition that there is someone to partner with,” Uri Ariel said at a conference of directors of religious Zionist institutions held at the Dead Sea.
Ariel said that “for two and a half years we have been trying to reach an agreement, and unfortunately, there is not even dialogue on the matter despite requests from us.”
“We see unity as valuable and think it will bring good results in the elections and in education and in what we believe,” Ariel concluded.
In recent months, the issue of joint running between the two parties has been raised again and again regarding the next Knesset elections, when the chairman of Bayit Yehudi, Naftali Bennett, insists not to entrench Ichud Leumi members in the next elections and calls them to run in the primaries like the other members of the party. That is to say, in the last elections for Knesset, Ariel’s seat was guaranteed in the number two slot on the list, along with other slots for party members. Bennet during recent months has signaled while he does not oppose running with Ichud Leumi again, he feels each party member must compete in primaries and none of the slots will be guaranteed. From Ariel’s point of view, if this is the case, why bother joining with Bayit Yehudi.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)