Israel Election News 02/05/18

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PM Netanyahu Calls On Bayit Yehudi To Unite With Otzma Yehudit But Party Leader Peretz Refuses

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is growing increasingly concerned over the number of small right-wing parties, parties which according to recent polls will not enter Knesset and will result in over one hundred thousand votes being trashed. Seeking to avoid such a scenario, as was the case in the last national elections, Mr. Netanyahu called on the Bayit Yehudi party to reach agreement and to run together with the Otzma Yehudit party headed by Itamar Ben-Givir, Baruch Marzel and former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari.

According to a KAN News report, Bayit Yehudi’s newly-elected leader, former IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz has refused the prime minister’s request in talks with party officials, as Otzma Yehudit is viewed as right-wing extremist by some and he feels a union would harm Bayit Yehudi. It was also reported that in addition, Peretz was not pleased that the prime minister feels he can meddle in Bayit Yehudi internal issues.

It is also added that even MK Betzalel Smotrich of Ichud Leumi, who is perceived as being right of Bayit Yehudi, is unlikely that he would wish to run with Bayit Yehudi should Peretz decide to reach agreement with Otzma Yehudit.

Central Election Committee Rejects Yachad Party Leader’s Objection To Competitor’s Name

The head of the Central Election Committee, Eyal Globus, heard a petition filed by Yachad party leader Eli Yishai against the party name of Yomtov Samaya, ‘BeYachad’. Globus on Tuesday decided that Samaya can use the name ‘BeYachad’ despite Yishai’s objections.

The letters of BeYachad, Bet, Yud, Yed, Ches, and Daled are an abbreviations for security, Jewish/Israeli, social/education and democratic

(בטחונית, יהודית-ישראלית, חברתית-חינוכית, דמוקרטית)

Yishai however feels that it is too close to the name of his party, but the committee chairman did not agree, explaining the ‘BeYachad’ abbreviation is acceptable and will not be disqualified.

In response to the Registrar of Organizations, the BeYachad party responded, through attorney Yoram L. Cohen: “The resistance does not contain a single real example of error and deception, and there is a clear and distinct difference between the two names.”

The party registrar, Attorney Eyal Globus, wrote in his ruling that the opposition of Eli Yishai and his party “is based only on fear, but this fear is not enough to deprive another party of the right to choose a name for itself.”

In addition, the party registrar noted that the claim of copyright infringement on the name together is baseless, since the word ‘Yachad’ (together) is a word in Hebrew and not an entity.

Yomtov Samaya, chairman of the BeYachad party, said: “I am sorry that other parties are trying to obtain political capital by raising unnecessary difficulties and objections. The general public in Israel knows how to distinguish between my party and Yishai’s party”.

Attorney Chaggai Adoram, the legal adviser of the Yachad party, said in response: “The Yachad party, headed by Eli Yishai, is studying the decision of the party registrar and will consider petitioning the Supreme Court against it.”

Moti Yogev Emerges A Victor – Ben-Dahan Not Likely To Get Into 21st Knesset

The Bayit Yehudi party has conducted its election primaries and things are looking good for MK Moti Yogev, who emerged the victor. The situation for Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan look less promising however regarding entry into the 21st Knesset, as he was bumped to the fourth slot, with the third is secured for a woman.

After the first count of votes, it was announced that Ben-Dahan was in the fifth slot, but after a recount, it was learned that he was not after Davidi Ben-Tzion, who is in the fifth slot, viewed as an unrealistic spot for entering Knesset.

If Bayit Yehudi teams with the Ichud Leumi party headed by MK Betzalel Smotrich as is expected to be the case; then at best, Ben-Dahan will be pushed to the fifth slot, and if a deal is made with either the Yachad or Otzma Yehudit parties, then Ben-Dahan may find himself if a seventh or eighth position.

Bayit Yehudi Chairman Rafi Peretz used the opportunity to speak out, against both Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked, the party leaders who abandoned ship, leaving Bayit Yehudi with a NIS 22 million debt to start the New Right party.

“There are those who do not view the house sparkling enough, so they pass through it, enter for a short period of time, use it and go. They do not agree with its original strong character or its ability to regenerate tremendously. They are wrong. They are wrong and mistaken about it and me, one who benefits from the home and it is good for him. You missed it big time! This evening we say, one does not abandon one’s home. One does not desert one’s home”.

HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior is calling on the religious parties to unite ahead of elections. In a letter published by the rav, he explains, “An effort must be made to combine the religious parties, those who observe Torah and mitzvos, towards enlarging our strength in Knesset. In the event the efforts towards achdus are unsuccessful, they [Otzma Yehudit] must run independently towards saving the tens of thousands of votes of Otzma voters, those who true to the Holy Land”.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)