Am Shalem party leader Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, who failed to earn seats in the 19th Knesset, accuses the Bayit Yehudi party of betraying him and the agreement between them. According to Amsellem, he met with Naftali Bennett and a partnership agreement was reached but Bennett did not make good on his word.
Rav Amsellem was asked on his Facebook page regarding reported agreements between him and Bayit Yehudi. He explains that since cutting ties with Shas he maintained a quiet dialogue with Zevulun Orlev, the dati leumi party’s former leader as well as with MK Uri Orbach and Uri Ariel. There was an understanding that they would team up in the elections. After agreement was reached with Orlev, Am Shalem was started and eventually, the understandings were written into an agreement and the parties signed.
Amsellem first met with Bennett when he was in the party primaries, seeking the leadership position. He did not sign the agreement at the time but Amsellem adds “we met in my home and other places and it was clear to all that we had a deal and that we were running together.” However when he was elected things took a turn and Am Shalem found itself on its own, without Bayit Yehudi. Amsellem adds that he expected Bayit Yehudi to keep its word and “there were a number of parties begging to run with us but I declined as a result of my agreement” which was never actualized.
Bayit Yehudi released the following statement in response: Rabbi Amsellem seems to be on a shopping expedition due to his failure in the elections. According to his recent texts (SMS messages), it appears he is now turning to Likud to take him.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)