Leading officials of the communities throughout Yehuda and Shomron have signaled Likud/Yisrael Beitenu leaders to back off the anti-Bayit HaYehudi campaign. The settlement officials are warning Likud leaders that if they continue to target Naftali Bennett and his party in the election campaign they will withdraw their support for the Likud list.
In the Likud’s latest move, senior campaign officials on Thursday, 21 Teves 5773 began its latest round of assaults against Bennett’s party, this time claiming that Bayit HaYehudi will not advance women’s right as Likud will. Likud proudly boasts that a number of women in the roster are former chairwomen of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women, while in Bennett’s party, some of the candidates have a track record that is contrary to advancing women’s rights.
Unquestionably Likud has a great deal to lose as Bennett continues to gain support, with most analysts ageing at least some of those seats are coming from potential Likud voters.
Likud campaign officials finger Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, number 4 on Bennett’s list, a former director-general of the Rabbinical Court system and his efforts to abolish the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women. Ben-Dahan was also the target of many protests and complaints by organizations fighting to free agunos, placing the blame for the bureaucratic foot-dragging on Ben-Dahan.
Another prime Likud example is Moti Yogev, number 9 on Bennett’s list, who according to Likud as secretary-general of Bnei Akiva pushed to hold separate events for males and females.
According to a Walla News report, a number of the most senior officials representing the yishuvim have warned the prime minister that if the anti-Bayit Yehudi campaign is not halted, immediately, they will break away from Likud.
Many question why Yosh leaders are backing Likud instead of Bennett in the first place, especially following the building freeze in yishuvim. It appears that since they realize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be reelected, they prefer to back him and remain on Likud’s good side, looking ahead at future and the realization Likud will have a great deal of influence regarding funding requests for those communities.
Bennett responded as well, via the media, calling on “my Likud brethren” to halt the hate campaign and run a clean election campaign by addressing issues, not character defamation.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)