Chetboun Refuses to Sign Bennett Letter


chetMK (Bayit Yehudi) Yoni Chetboun has already proven that he will not cross a red line, and he paid dearly for it by going against his own party in the efforts to draft chareidim. Despite party leader Naftali Bennett instructing him to support the chareidi draft legislation, he refused and as part of his punishment, he was ousted from his position on the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee.

Defying party leader Bennett once again, Chetboun now refuses to sign a letter seeking to pressure Uri Ariel and his Tekuma faction from not splitting away from Bayit Yehudi. In this case, Chetboun wrote to Bennett “I would love to sign such a letter after the place for Torah values and the rabbonim of the religious Zionists are incorporated in the language”.

The letter in question was sent on motzei Shabbos the eve of 22 Kislev to members of the Tekuma faction of the dati leumi party. The letter is signed by Bennett and Minister Uri Orbach, Deputy Minister Avi Wortzman, faction leader Ayelet Shaked, Nissim Slomiansky, Shul Muallem, Moti Yogev and Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, who announced he is breaking from Tekuma and running in the Bayit Yehudi primaries. The letter calls on Ariel not to splinter the Zionist camp by breaking from Bayit Yehudi. The only faction member who has not signed is Chetboun, who insists the letter is intended to pressure Ariel to ignore the rabbonim and move ahead with the party to the exclusion of daas Torah.

The letter also points out to Ariel that signing and agreeing permits him and colleagues from Tekuma to receive a guaranteed slot on the Bayit Yehudi lineup without have to compete in the primaries.

The letter concludes this is the one and only offer and there will be no offer since there is no need, because this letter provides Tekuma with a guaranteed slot in Knesset.

Chetboun explains the current version of the letter is obviously intended to remove the rabbonim from the decision-making process and he is unwilling to be a part of such a process. He explains that if and when the letter includes that decision will include daas Torah, he will be pleased to sign as well but the current version is unacceptable.

The Yisrael Hayom daily adds HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior Shlita has instructed Ariel to run independent of Bayit Yehudi.

Some feel that Chetboun may be on the way out of Bayit Yehudi and will form a party with Ariel and Eli Yishai, who appears to be moving away from Shas.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. MK Struk: Jewish Home Turning into Likud B

    Jewish Home and Tekuma take negotiations down to the wire. Will they part ways?

    The Jewish Home party under Naftali Bennett and the Tekuma / National Union faction within it have yet to reach agreement over Tekuma’s part in the list for the coming election.

    As negotiations continue, Tekuma’s MK Orit Struk told Arutz Sheva that the disagreement is not over the placement of its people in the list, or over matters of honor, but primarily about the religious character of the party.

    MK Struk explained that the party is being “overrun” by representatives who do not belong to the religious Zionist sector, much less the hardali (hareidi religious Zionist) stream. The party is thus turning into a Likud B, she said.

    “I say with regret that there are more and more signs that Naftali Bennett is not interested in Tekuma and Jewish Home as a united party,” she elaborated. “We functioned together in an excellent way in the last Knesset and while it is true that there are ideological gaps, they can be bridged with mechanims and the same common work methods.”

    Struk opined that people near Bennett leaked to the secular press that Tekuma is insisting that the party take instructions from a “council of sages” – but explained that the rabbis in question are from all streams, that their position is a purely advisory one with decisions made by the faction, and that the rabbis have been advising the party for two years already.

    Another point of disagreement, she said, is the building freeze in Judea and Samaria: “There was a decision by the faction to protest in front of [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and walk out of votes in the plenum as long as there was a freeze in Judea and Samaria.” This, she added, was meant to drive home to Netanyahu that for the Jewish Home, a freeze is a red line. The decision was dragged out until in the end the disagreement led to open conflict between Minister [Uri} Ariel and Bennett.”

    Struk insisted that she had reached understandings with MK Ayelet Shaked on how the factions can cooperate, and that all Bennett has to do is confirm them.

  2. Uri ARIEL should split from Bennet if he can make a
    New party with Yisha and Otzma
    they can get 8- 10 seat
    Yishai 4-5 seat from Shas
    Ariel 3 seats from Bennet
    Otzma 2 seats
    Shas would be wiped out and would end up in garbage can of
    garbage failed parties like Lapid’s father party ,Kadima

  3. Tekuma started out by splitting of from the Mafda”l way back in 1998. In all its iterations over the past 16 years it has always run as a faction with/within a larger party. Invariably, it has split off from each and every party it has run with. No one, it seems, is ever good enough for them for long. Perhaps the time has finally come for them to stand up and run independently.

    As for MK Struk’s ‘Likud B’ remark, let’s remember that Tekuma has never had any problem running with chilonim when it served their purpose. They ran together with Yisrael Beiteinu in the past and with chiloni MKs such as Eldad and Haetzni.

  4. Again Yoni Chetboun has stood up for Kavod Hatorah. He is to be commended for his courage. Bennett has always represented only the secular Mizrachi.
    Its about time the Frum eirlicheh Youngerlite from the Dati Leumi community, receive true representation in the Government.

  5. Rav Drukman backs Bennet.
    The Zionist should really form a Rabbinic body etc. but they will then loose a big part of their electorate which doesn’t believe in that…

  6. Yes yes everyone agrees that the Chardal people (Charedi L”U I) need a voice, a part a power structure.

    EXCEPT ISRAELI politics only work if the numbers add up & seats are won.

    BTW Eldad is masorati & has stronger Jewish values than some other kipa wearers.

  7. There anti religious “Yagel Libi” goes again..

    Israel’s Right: the Light’s on, But Nobody’s ” Home”

    By: Moshe Feiglin
    Published: January 2nd, 2014


    The situation was embarrassing. “The Likud has a contagious flu,” the radical left Meretz and Arab MKs gloated at the sight of the empty seats of the Likud, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu MKs. The vote on the Jerusalem Bill was held by roll call. The secretary of the Knesset called out the names of the MKs one by one and announced, “Not present, not present.” I sat there, between the empty seats, and thought to myself that what she was saying is true: In the Israeli reality, only the left and the Arabs are present. The ultra Orthodox do not want to be present and the nationalists are incapable of being present.

    I see how – more than ever – the deconstructionist values and laws in Israel are gaining momentum. There are the laws designed to deconstruct the status of the normative family. They are disguised as equality for those with different sexual orientations, victims of discrimination, and protection for battered women. These bills are making their way through the Knesset more successfully than ever. And specifically so in a “nationalist” coalition.

    “Have you ever tried to ask yourselves how it is that we are passing bill after bill to protect women, while more women than ever are being murdered by their partners?” I asked the Meretz MKs. Obviously they had no answer, as it did not really interest them. The legislation is not really meant to protect women; the real goal is the deconstruction of the family unit.

    Not only are social values deconstructing at an accelerated rate, but we are also experiencing territorial deconstruction. The government announced that the Prawer Law to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev was suspended. But that is not true. The law is in its final stages of preparation in the Knesset Interior Committee, and they are working on it feverishly.

    “How can you support this law, for it gives the entire central Negev to the Bedouins as a gift? Isn’t the Negev part of the Land of Israel?” I asked Jewish Home MKs.


    And what about the struggle for the sovereignty of the nation against Israel’s High Court? Have we progressed on that front or is the right-wing coalition also advancing deconstruction of the sovereignty of the people? In this case, it is liberty that is being deconstructed. We saw how the coalition suspended the will of the voters in three major cities in Israel after the High Court demanded that the newly elected mayors should be fired.

    Why am I the only one opposed to giving the High Court even more power?

    Who here is sane?

    The multifaceted national camp always manages to get lost inside the political fog. The left is always present, the right never. Even when the left is a small minority in the Knesset, it continues to set the public agenda and to actively control society. The left steers us in the direction it wants Israel to take. It mirrors Israeli society.

    The right has no “public figure.” It has no real horizons. That is why it doesn’t understand where political games give way to essence. For the right, politics will always be more important than essence – even if Jerusalem is at stake.

    That is because the right has no real alternative to the left’s deconstructionist values. The alternative to the left is not the right and it is not religion in the narrow sense of the word. It is not even the strange combination of the two. The alternative is to reconnect to our Jewish identity, our Jewish values, and our Jewish destiny.