The Bayit Leumi party is made up of factions, and one of those factions is Tekuma. Tekuma members include Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, MK Orit Struk and MK Zevulun Kalfa.
After party leader Minister Naftali Bennett met in Knesset with representatives of the Conservative Movement, then announcing how proud he is for meeting with them, Rabbi Dov Lior, the rabbinical authority in Tekuma summoned the four to meet with him.
Maariv reports that “people in the know with knowledge of what took place in the meeting” explain the rav is far from pleased with the direction Bayit Yehudi has taken. He spoke of the drastic cuts to yeshiva budgets and Bennett’s decision to meet with these leaders. “How could this occur davka with our party being in the coalition” Rav Lior asked the four.
The rav told them the Conservative Movement has resulted in significant damage to the Jewish People in Israel and in the Diaspora and the Bayit Yehudi party cannot release statements equating them with frum Jewry. The rav understands that Bennett’s statements are not representative of the party, or event most of the party members. Rabbi Lior feels a meeting must be held to set policy regarding such matters. Rav Lior reportedly told the four they must make certain that there is not a repeat performance in the future.
Bennett’s staff responded: “Minister Bennett met in his capacity as Diaspora Affairs Minister meets with representatives of all Jews around the world in his ongoing effort to bring them closer to Israel even if he does not agree with them. This is how one should act. We respect Rabbi Dov Lior’s right to his opinion.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)