Former IDF Chief Rabbi, Rafi Peretz, is the newly-elected head of the Bayit Yehudi party and he entered the post a few days after being elected. He immediately appointed Davidi Ben-Tzion to head the election campaign. Ben-Tzion landed the fifth slot in the party lineup. According to a report on the Kippa dati leumi website, quoting ‘party activists’, Peretz has made every mistake possible since assuming his leadership position.
The report cites he has made controversial appointments and due to disagreement, a number of senior officials have since reigned from the committee which appointed him to his post.
A meeting took place on Sunday including Rav Peretz, party director-general, Nir Orbach, political advisor Dubi Magenheim, Davidi Ben-Tzion, MK Moti Yogev and his parliamentary aide, MK Nissim Slomiansky, and a number of others; in the hope of reaching understandings and to achieve a working relationship towards benefiting the party in the upcoming Knesset elections.
During the meeting, Peretz officially announced the appointment of Ben-Tzion, a person who objected to Peretz’s appointment as party leader.
It is alleged that Peretz is “surrounding himself with his talmidim”, and they are making decisions to the exclusion of the veteran party leaders. The old guard is concerned, as they fear Peretz’s decisions are harming the party and the result of his actions will be evident at the polls.
Rav Peretz’s staff explains that he was just appointed, and he is still in the process of building his team – adding that it is natural that some persons will leave as new blood is brought in.
In another Bayit Yehudi related matter, talks are ongoing with Ichud Leumi in the hope the two will run under one list in the upcoming elections as was the case in the last Knesset election. However, Peretz appears to be quite critical of Ichud Leumi leader MK Betzalel Smotrich, with officials adding “It is clear, that according to Peretz, when negotiations are over, Bayit Yehudi will still be the leader”.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)