Bennet Wants To See A Chareidi And 3 More Secular Candidates In Party’s Top 10


Bayit Yehudi party chairman Minister Naftali Bennet continues his efforts to change the former dati leumi party to one that can attract a cross-section of voters, not just those who are religious. He was successful with the placement of Ayelet Shaked, as she ranks high among supporters of the party despite maintaining a secular lifestyle. In fact, many prefer seeing her at the helm of the party before the next elections.

Bennet now would like to see a chareidi and at least three more secular candidates in the party’s top 10 lineup. During an interview with Globes, he was as member of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet if he picks up his phone on Shabbos. “Certainly”, adding he can recall seven or eight times since he became a minister that incidents occurred on Shabbos.

The abduction of the Gush Etzion youths occurred between Thursday and Friday, and on Shabbos he already began arranging for the re-arrest of terrorists who were released in the Gilad Shalit exchange. As a commander in the IDF I had to operate on Shabbos many times and there is no issue with it at all. He cited the period of the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge and even as recently as a number of weeks ago when an IAF F-16i was downed by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

He admits that prior to coming to Bayit Yehudi he did not have a connection with a rabbi from the religious Zionist community, as he was born into a secular family that slowly made its way to Judaism. However, he explains his entry into the religious Zionist world only came about following his entry into politics.

“I did not wear a kippa for two years in the IDF. I guess this was the result of my wishing to see the world…”

Regarding his aspirations to become Prime Minister, he does believe the prime minister can wear a kippa, adding he intends to become the prime minister after the era of PM Netanyahu. He admits there are stigmas, which he feels is only natural but points out when he gets up in the morning he does not act like the Minister of Education of the religious, but all the children. He admits he plans to turn the party into a cross-section to attract general voters and to cease being a sectoral party for the religious Zionist voters.

His vision therefore includes the top ten lineup including religious, traditional, chareidi and non-religious candidates. When asked if Arabs were welcome, he explained “any Zionist person who believes in their values is welcome”.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)