Rabbis Call for United Religious Zionist List
A group of Torah luminaries from the National Religious movement gathered on Monday in Jerusalem and urged the movement's disparate political parties to run on a single Knesset list.
A statement from the rabbis said, "It is imperative that there be a single Religious Zionist list in the coming elections in order that we be able to strengthen the influence of Torah, our hold on Greater Israel, and the Jewish idenity of Israel."
The letter was signed by Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Chaim Steiner, Rabbi Michael Hershkowitz, Rabbi David Chai Hacohen, Rabbi Avi Smutrich, Rabbi Shimon Cohen and Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Dean of the Beit El Yeshiva.
The Knesset voted on Monday to dissolve itself within 24 hours. Elections will be held on September 4.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Likud faction, "Israeli citizens want stability." He said that if elections were not moved up, there would be a year and a half long instability-causing campaign, whereas early elections limit the time to four months.
His Likud faction is surging at 31 seats in current polls, giving it a commanding lead over Labor, which is second in the polls with 17 seats.
Analysts say Netanyahu – almost certain to form the next government – will likely form a coalition that looks much like the present government.
Though timing has been hotly debated, all of Netanyahu's current coalition partners - with the exception of United Torah Judaism - have agreed to do away with the Tal Law, which is the ostensible fulcrum of political tension behind early elections.
A strong showing by the Religious Zionist public behind a unified list could lead to inclusion in Netanyahu's next government.